5G Regulation & Net Neutrality Discussion with the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

The Paley Center for Media today welcomed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for a discussion moderated by Theodore Rappaport, Founder and Director of NYU Wireless. Chairman Pai addressed everything from the state of 5G deployment to regulations and net neutrality. The discussion took place before a standing room only audience at the Paley Center’s New York location.

“It was an honor to welcome Chairman Pai to the Paley Center for the very first time,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “Today’s discussion is another prime example of how the Paley Center leads the conversation on issues not only facing media, but also technology, business, and society.”

The highlights from the discussion included the following from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:

Net Neutrality: “Speeds are up 40%, 40%, year over year after we made that decision; more fiber was deployed in 2018 to homes and businesses than any year that they have been keeping records; network investment was up three billion dollars year over year following declines in 2015 and 2016; and most importantly as I mentioned, more and more people are able to access the internet for the first time.”

The Impact of 5G in Rural America: “The ability to use things like wireless sensors to create essentially an internet of things in health where people are able once they leave the hospital, to not have to go back or they don’t have to go to the hospital in the first place, because all their vital signs can be monitored remotely using these sensors that ping the network with very little amounts of data, that can be a game changer in rural America.”

Navigating Regulation:Right now virtually every communication service is regulated: the federal, the state, the local, and the tribal level. Every single level gets a bite of the regulatory apple so to speak, and I think we are quickly reaching the point where that is unsustainable.”

National Station Ownership: I think the immediate regulations we have should reflect the marketplace that we are in.”