Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today said his “light-touch” approach to regulation is already helping consumers in the form of unlimited smartphone data plans from major US carriers. And he predicted that getting rid of “utility-style regulation” over broadband providers will boost Internet access across the US.
Pai, a Republican and ex-Verizon lawyer who was appointed FCC chair by President Donald Trump, made his case in a speech today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain (full text). Just before touting the recent expansion of unlimited data plans, he discussed his decision to end an investigation into data cap exemptions, also known as zero-rating. Pai’s FCC rescinded the commission’s previous determination that AT&T and Verizon Wireless violated net neutrality rules by exempting their own video services from data caps while charging other providers for the same zero-rating treatment.
This decision, Pai said, led to a surge in unlimited data offerings: