Opinion

Ajit Pai isn't helping engineers or innovators by walking back net neutrality

To the editor: When a bureaucrat begins an argument about technology with a completely irrelevant sports analogy —in this case, the trading away by the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder of two superstars as a way to avoid the league’s salary cap — you can be confident he’s trying to flimflam you. (“Why I'm trying to change how the FCC regulates the Internet,” Opinion, April 26)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai casts the debate as “lawyers and bureaucrats” (evil) versus “engineers, technologists and businesses” (good). By lumping the latter three into a single category, he obscures the fact that the engineers and technologists largely support regulation of the businesses that have been stifling, not stimulating, advancement in Internet technology.

Pai’s fundamental argument is that nothing bad has happened, so nothing bad will happen. But to do so he has to ignore the fact that bad things have already happened, with Internet firms repeatedly trying to charge companies like Google and Netflix for connections we consumers have already paid for.

Nice try, Chairman Pai.

Geoff Kuenning, Claremont

The writer is a professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College.

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To the editor: Republican FCC Chairman Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, failed to mention the real target of his duplicitous piece: net neutrality.

The federal Title II regulation that Pai believes was improperly applied to Internet service providers in 2015 protects consumer access to high-speed Internet by preventing profit-driven service providers from erecting pay toll booths on the information highway.

In reality, it is corporate profits and not consumer protection that Republicans like Pai champion whenever they proclaim a need for “deregulation” — whether it’s for the Internet, Wall Street or public safety.

Ernest A. Canning, Thousand Oaks

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