Pai Admires Bush’s Light Regulatory Touch


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Former President George H.W. Bush was the leader of our country before smartphones. But his imprint was felt on the telecom and nascent tech sectors.

His administration provided leadership in the transition from analog to digital technologies, according to former FCC Chairman Al Sykes, who led the agency under Bush from 1989 to 1993.  “We were an all-analog world except for the computer sector,” Sikes told Politico.

 He counts designating spectrum for emerging technologies, such as mobile digital devices, as one of the Bush Administration’s key tech achievements.

Bush favored light touch regulation. Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai touched on this Tuesday, in a speech before the International Institute of Communications Telecommunications and Media Forum. “In my view, regulators in the communications space would be well-served by President Bush’s prudence,” Pai said. “That means being skeptical toward preemptive regulation of new technologies — rules that try to predict market failures before they occur.”

“Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent,” Pai said, imitating comedian Dana Carvey’s impression of Bush on Saturday Night Live. “Given how rapidly the communications sector is changing, the FCC should do everything it can to ensure that its rules reflect marketplace realities and basic principles of economics. The public interest is best served when the private sector has the incentives and freedom to invest and create,” said the Chairman.

He continued: “Instead of micromanaging markets, government should eliminate unnecessary barriers that can stifle new discoveries and services. And, in particular, the government should aim to minimize regulatory uncertainty, which can deter long-term investment decisions.”  Comments? Email us.

December 6, 2018

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