FCC chairman Pai calls California's net neutrality bill "illegal"

FCC chairman Pai calls California's net neutrality bill
California State Senator Scott Wiener is known as the author of SR822. This is the bill that is a signature away from making net neutrality the law in the state of California. As a result ISPs and wireless carriers would be obligated to treat all streaming content the same. Companies like Netflix will not be able to pass a few extra bucks to AT&T and other providers to have its media streamed at a faster speed over a special "fast lane." It also blocks companies like Comcast or AT&T from blocking or throttling certain content because it doesn't jive with the CEO's personal views. And the California bill adds another kicker; it prevents streaming content providers from paying carriers to zero rate their streams.

As you might imagine, SR822 is the finger found inside the hot dog being eaten by FCC chairman Ajit Pai. Under Pai, the FCC repealed net neutrality and he probably figured that he wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. Except surveys show that the majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality, and dozens of states have followed California in trying to make it law.

But Pai isn't having any of that. In a speech he made at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, he called out this whole idea of legislating net neutrality and said that it would prevent Californians from buying free data plans. He also stated that it would hurt low-income Americans and called California's action illegal. His theory is that since broadband is an interstate service, only the federal government can regulate it.

But allow yours truly to play Devil's Advocate for a second. Sure, no one wants low-income Americans to miss out on free streaming content. But without net neutrality, let's say Netflix pays AT&T for a special "fast lane" allowing subscribers to view video at a higher resolution. Eventually, Netflix is going to pass on the costs to subscribers. And let's say for a moment that another content provider is planning on streaming a video critical of the holder of a high ranking public office. If an ISP or carrier supports this person, without net neutrality it can block or throttle the stream.

Senator Wiener responded to Pai's comments with a lengthy rebuke of his own. Parts of both statements can be found below. As for SR822, it sits on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, awaiting his signature. He has two weeks left to sign it before the bill dies of natural causes.

source: FCC via TechCrunch (Top image credit: Variety)



1. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1036; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

He claims that broadband is an interstate program so should be regulated at a Federal level... by his logic, shouldn't the internet and it's availability be regulated at an international level? seeing that it is an international service, it doesn't recognize national lines

2. Pabliell

Posts: 179; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Someone should make his immigration documents disappear. This will make him an illegal immigrant and will be deported. He deserves nothing else.


Posts: 128; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

I don't like Pai at all, he's the worst for the FCC... but... He's born in Buffalo. So, not an immigrant. :P.

43. gamehead unregistered

Make buffalo it's own country then XD

8. RevolutionA

Posts: 392; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

The bill is actually illegal. We can actually pay for what we use.

11. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Lol... how is it illegal? It passed all the necessary legislation tto be a law. The FCC has no standing here. Also... f**k Ajit Pai(d off). PoS snake.

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Net Neutrality IS perfectly legal, it was already implemented on a national level prior to the current administration, which places the rights of corporations over that of the people. The current head of the FCC is simply a shill for telecoms companies and acting in their favor, who, by the way, was appointed by Donald J Trump. Seeing as how some ISPs have already started to throttle YouTube and Netflix, it shouldn't be too difficult to illustrate how Net Neutrality is good for the individual, but I mean, some people still support Trump so I guess you can't fix stupid.

25. RevolutionA

Posts: 392; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

You have no right to speak bout him. Because of you country's security is compromised

27. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

The country has been a mess for the last two years. Right now we have a president that is too preoccupied with his lawyer and campaign manager pleading guilty (and in one case, directly implicate Donald Trump in federal crimes) to actually care about the country that he's been elected to serve. We have an estimated 3,000 people die as a result of a hurricane last year (Many deaths could have been avoided with an appropriate response from the president) and instead of learning from his past mistakes, he simply denies the reality of the situation and says that those people didn't die because of him. Frankly, If I were on the East coast right now in the path of the storm, I would be worried that my government wouldn't give a damn about me or my community.

31. applesnapple93

Posts: 302; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Tell us how you really feel.

32. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

This country is under siege and held hostage by the ignorant and uneducated people that elected and continue to support someone who is woefully unqualified and unwilling to put the American people before his own personal interests. I would like to put an emphasis on "ignorant and uneducated".

33. RevolutionA

Posts: 392; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

You're sure B***hurt opposition fan. We are doing extremely well now and whom do you call ignorant and uneducated. I'm well educated unlike you people from wherever corner you are from. I just hope this bill goes down.

34. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

The US's economy is doing extremely well in spite of Trump, We have seen continued growth under a Trump presidency, a growth that has been part of a trend that was started back in 2009. And the best quarters that Trump can brag about have all been outperformed by quarters under Obama's administration. And let's not forget the billions Trump is spending on relief for the agriculture industry that has been devastated by the President's own trade war, or companies like Harley Davison having to move manufacturing plants to Europe, but what do you expect from a man who filed for bankruptcy 6 times?

45. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And the national debt ballooning under Trump.

44. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Apparently not in the English language.

28. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Wow, one person is responsible for the entire country's security being compromised.

22. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

OK, forced to edit this comment because it was a duplicate of my previous post.... Am I the only one getting these issues with this site??? Each post gives me a warning that I can only post once, and sometimes the post is duplicated?

26. Subie

Posts: 2353; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I'ts not just you. I've even seen duplicate posts by phoneArena's own writers in the comments section.

3. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

My concern, with the devil's advocate proposal of passed on savings, is that the providers will pocket the money. It's just like typical trickle down economics in that the company is responsible for passing along savings. The reason trickle down economics doesn't seem to work is that companies don't allow anything to trickle down anywhere, but into their own pockets. I'm not saying this in any political view point, just as a concern voiced in regards to that particular counterpoint.

46. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Trickle down can work in a situation where companies have to compete for your business. That's not the case with broadband/cable companies, which over most of the US have small monopolies carved out. Where I live, I have the choice of Comcast or finding some dial up that still exists. I can't even get DSL not that it would compete with cable.

4. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Come on, Jerry. For once... do the right thing.

7. D34ever

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

He'll sign it for sure. No need to worry.

6. D34ever

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

Ajit is illegal.

9. talon95

Posts: 994; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

He's the worst. Like many of Trump's appointees he's out to shut down and destroy the department he is in charge of. It's ironic that he doesn't think the FCC should regulate ISPs, but now that he gave up his control he wants it back. Fool, I can't wait until he's fired.

23. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I would rather he be arrested, and locked up. There need to be laws against blatantly abusing your position of authority to benefit corporations at the expense of the American people.

10. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Illegal or not is not up to him to said or decided. According to Union, the Fed print money declare war, make treaties, trade. Other than that it up to state.

12. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Wrong. What country you live in?

16. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Wrong, mind to explain or an evidence or simulat case to back up your talk?

17. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Probably under the commerce clause

35. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Never heard of federal laws?

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