If Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai convinces two other FCC commissioners to vote with him Thursday, as expected, he will dismantle net neutrality, potentially allowing internet providers to slow down traffic to certain sites and favor others based on business or other decisions. But Pai has actually been on a deregulation spree at the FCC, and since he was named chairman in January, he has "rewritten the rules of the information age so thoroughly that there's no mode of communication under his control where the rules aren't looser than they were a year ago," David McCabe says at Axios.
Most of the changes allow for various forms of media consolidation, so one company can control more of local markets, but collectively they "will likely alter the way people experience the internet, broadcast TV, and even AM radio" for years to come, McCabe writes. Pai has also taken a whack at regulations that will affect nobody's life, like deregulating the telegraph industry. This move may not do anything, really, Axios notes, but it "was a boon to Pai's political rhetoric around deregulation."
Pai seems to embrace his reputation, joking at a dinner on Friday about industry "collusion" and being a "puppet" of Verizon, where he served as associate general counsel.