FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argues a patchwork of state regs is bad for business – CNET

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argues a patchwork of state regs is bad for business – CNET
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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at the WSJ Tech Live event in California talks about the importance of deregulation. 


Queenie Wong/CNET

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai worries a patchwork of local and state regulations on internet technologies could hurt the  competitiveness of the US in the tech sector. 

Speaking at the WSJ Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, on Monday, Pai made the case for harmonizing regulation among federal and state and local governments. He said that entrepreneurs and innovators not only need to consider the complexities of federal regulation, but they must also navigate regulations imposed by each of the 50 state governments, hundreds of local municipalities, as well as the more than 500 federally recognized native American tribes, which all want to take “a bite of the regulatory apple.” 

He argued that “while that federalist system has served us very well” up to this point in our nation’s history, it’s time for Congress to consider “whether or not we can still maintain a multilayer regulatory system.” He said allowing states and local governments to pass their own laws regulating internet services, which inherently cross state lines, creates market uncertainty.

“When you’re talking about the choice for a venture capitalist or an entrepreneur to set up shop in the United States where they have to get permission from the federal government or from the state of California, San Francisco, or some other jurisdiction, or whether they should set up shop in country B where there’s a uniform, well-established set of regulations that are consistent, I worry that the proposition value for country B will become stronger over time.”

It’s no secret that Pai, who was appointed as chairman of the FCC by President Donald Trump, is no fan of regulation. Since taking the top post at the agency, he’s been working at break-neck speed to remove as many regulatory hurdles as possible. 

“One of the greatest impulses in Washington and government generally is to try to fit the square peg of where the marketplace is into the round hole of regulations and

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