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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's announcement that he will seek to restore U.S. innovation policy to the modern, bipartisan approach that has guided the internet's growth and evolution in our country for more than two decades is a huge win for consumers, our connected economy and our digital democracy. It's also a win for the argument that our technology policy must be as smart and nimble as the internet it governs.

Here's why the Pai's plan is heading in the right direction:

  • Consumers concerned about net neutrality will have the security of clean, clear and enforceable rules to safeguard our online freedoms.
  • Consumers concerned about online privacy will get exactly what they consistently say they want: One high standard of protections that applies uniformly across the internet—broadband providers, yes, but everyone online, including search, social media and commerce companies.
  • The FCC will no longer do the bidding of special interests intent on seeing the agency "save" consumers from the obvious scourge of getting free and discounted stuff online.
  • And, because this progress can be achieved without the government turning the internet into a utility, future broadband investment does not have to be held back by carbon-dated regulations written in the same year American families first gathered around the radio to hear FDR's fireside chats.

Two years after Title II was enacted, FDR bravely told the nation, "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself." Today, Chairman Pai helped wake our country from a bizarre, two-year fever dream of a policy detour governed entirely by fear and misinformation.

Nothing about the Internet was broken when the prior FCC leadership caved to intense political pressure to "save the Internet" by imposing regulations written during the Great Depression.

From the internet's earliest days, President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress saw the abundance that might come if we worked together to stoke an American-led century of innovation. Our digital economy has delivered. And, this progressive and modern approach has had truly transformative impacts for our families and communities.

We can't stop now.

Our common task is to craft policies that dare to envision once again a U.S. innovation future that focuses on abundance rather than austerity—a future where competition is thriving, jobs are growing and American consumers continue to have both the net neutrality we demand and the thriving, innovative broadband experience we deserve.

Chairman Pai started from the right place, asking "what policies will give the American people what they want?" He should be commended for standing with so many great U.S. policymakers, innovators and consumers for the modern, bipartisan principles that have made American broadband the envy of the world.

Jonathan Spalter is President and CEO of USTelecom.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
23 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.

Colin Powell dies from COVID complications at 84

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, died of complications from COVID-19, his family announced Monday. He was 84.

Driving the news: The Powell family said in a statement that he was fully vaccinated. "We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment."

3 hours ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.