Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai received the NRA’s ‘Courage Under Fire’ award on Friday during a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for his work in repealing the net neutrality rules instituted under the Obama administration.
“The FCC is at its best when it unleashes the entrepreneurial spirit of markets as opposed to the all-knowing vortex of government,” Pai stated during the panel.
“That means getting internet into rural areas, empowering entrepreneurs in all kinds of places to pursue their dreams, and giving people the ability to educate their kids, get healthcare, do all the things that technology allows you to do,” he added. “So under our FCC at least, we believe that the wisdom resides not among a few unelected bureaucrats in Washington, but among all the entrepreneurs and citizens across this great country, and that’s what we’ve tried to do.
Pai’s decision to push ahead with the repeal of the rules is sure to benefit rural communities, who have thus far been unfairly forced to subsidize streaming sites such as YouTube and Netflix, which he described as the “unsung communities of this country”. His decision to tour the country and visit these communities helped motivate his groundbreaking push to expand internet freedom.
“Some people advised me to … make some minor changes [to net neutrality], but I don’t play small ball. I decided I wanted to make a fundamental change in the way the agency operates,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to set rules of the road that allow the American people to take control of their own lives, instead of having it run out of a Washington bureaucracy.”