OTI Slams FCC’s ‘Failed Leadership’ Ahead of Congressional Hearing

Press Release
Sept. 17, 2020

Today, OTI sent a letter to the House of Representatives in advance of a hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The hearing, titled “Trump’s FCC: Four Years of Lost Opportunities,” features all five FCC commissioners, including Chairman Ajit Pai. In the letter, OTI highlighted many failures and lost opportunities over the past four years at the agency, including:

  • The FCC’s anemic response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The FCC’s failure to help students access remote learning during the pandemic
  • The FCC’s persistent neglect of its public safety duties and of first responders
  • The FCC’s disrespect toward Tribal communities
  • The FCC’s lack of transparency to the American people
  • The FCC’s indulgence of President Trump’s dangerous agenda on Section 230

The following statement can be attributed to Joshua Stager, senior counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute:

“Today’s hearing should be a long overdue reckoning for President Trump’s FCC chair, Ajit Pai. The pandemic has laid bare what OTI has told the FCC for a decade: internet service is an essential utility, akin to electricity and water. For nearly four years, Chairman Pai has failed to grasp this reality and failed to act. Now, millions of people are suffering through a pandemic without internet access while he is asleep at the wheel. Students, public health, and the economy are all paying the price for this failed leadership.”

Related Topics
Universal Service Fund Internet Access & Adoption Affordability Transparency and Data