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Pai Statement-Formation of Technology Transitions Policy Task Force

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Released: December 10, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:




NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

December
10,
2012
Matthew
Berry,
202-418-2005
Email:
matthew.berry@fcc.gov




STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

ON THE FORMATION OF A TECHNOLOGY TRANSITIONS POLICY TASK FORCE

The Internet Transformation is upon us. The analog, circuit-switched copper-wire
networks that dominated the 20th century communications marketplace are being replaced by
competitive fiber networks that digitally distribute voice, video, and data services. Yet our rules
continue to presume static domination by monopoly providers. We need a forward-looking
regulatory framework that will expedite the Internet Protocol (IP) transition and accommodate—
indeed, encourage—the most important technological revolution of our time.
I first called for the FCC to establish a task force to tackle this problem almost five
months ago.1 Today, I commend the Chairman for doing just that with the announcement of the
Technology Transitions Policy Task Force’s formation. The Task Force will help us address this
challenge in a comprehensive manner rather than handling issues on a piecemeal basis as they
happen to pop up.
Our judgments have a firmer foundation when we have the benefit of a broad range of
public perspectives. So I hope that the Task Force will solicit input from all interested parties.
And I hope that all Commissioners’ offices will engage with the Task Force and have the
opportunity to participate in its work.
Our goal in this effort should be as simple as it is profound: to develop sound proposals
for hastening the IP transition and incentivizing investment in next-generation networks. In
developing those proposals, the Task Force should keep certain core principles in mind, such as
the need to preserve vital consumer protections—like 911 emergency calling—that are still likely
to be needed in an all-IP world. Similarly, the Task Force should resist the urge to simply import
the rules of the old world into the new. Instead, it should scour the Code of Federal Regulations
to track down and remove obsolete legacy regulations, like the tariffs, the arcane cost studies,
and the hidden subsidies that distort competition for the benefit of companies, rather than
consumers.
The Technology Transitions Policy Task Force is a big deal. Without question, the legal
and policy challenges involved will be substantial, as will be the demands on our talented staff.

1 See Remarks of Commissioner Ajit Pai, “Unlocking Investment and Innovation in the Digital Age: Toward a 21st-
Century FCC” at 6-7 (July 18, 2012), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-
315268A1.pdf.

But so too could be the rewards. If we get this right—if we can establish a modern, deregulatory
framework for the dynamic, competitive IP world—innovation will flourish, infrastructure
investment will increase, and American consumers will benefit even more fully from the bounty
of the digital age.



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