FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Friday he made the decision to repeal net neutrality to give Americans more control of their lives.
Pai spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland and was asked about his agency and what he sees are the big telecommunications issues moving forward.
"Some people urged me to go for sacrifice bunts and singles and try to nibble around the edges, make some minor changes. But I don't play small ball," Pai said. "I decided I wanted to make a fundamental change in the way the agency operates. I think it is important for us to set rules of the road that allow the American people to take control of their own lives instead of having it run out of a Washington bureaucracy."
Pai then described his thought process for repealing net neutrality, a push that passed in a 3-2 party line vote in December and became official this week when the new rules were published in the Federal Register.
"We decided the best way to encourage more investment and innovation in terms of the internet, getting better, faster, and cheaper access out there, is to get rid of these heavy-handed regulations and let the market, backed up by consumer protection rules, decide how the internet is regulated," Pai said.
"I think the results are going to speak for themselves just as they did from the mid-1990s all the way until 2015," when net neutrality was instituted.
Pai was first appointed to the FCC as a commissioner in 2012. President Donald Trump tapped him to lead the five-person body last year, and he took office shortly after Trump was inaugurated.
Pai said the commission has worked over the past year to cut regulations and keep the government out of private citizens' lives wherever possible. He's also making the process of how the FCC does business more transparent.
"Most people would be shocked to learn that for decades, until 2017, the FCC voted on a number of different proposals and orders, and only after the vote happened did it let you, the American people, see what it was we were voting on. That is crazy," he said.
"I said, three weeks before every one of our monthly meetings, I'm going to publish on the internet the actual text of what it is we propose to do so that every American, regardless of whether they can hire a Washington lawyer or lobbyist to figure out what's in these documents, they can make up their own mind."
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