FCC's Pai Meets With Silicon Valley Over Net Neutrality

Says it was part of general input collection on open internet protections

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that he met with Facebook, Cisco, Oracle and Intel in Silicon Valley this week to talk about an open internet and consumer protections.

Pai was responding to questions in a post-FCC meeting press conference.

He said the conversation was not about any pending proceeding, but outside of that context he was soliciting input on how to "secure online consumer protections."

He said that he has been consistent in saying that he favors a free and open internet and opposes Title II.

According to sources he has talked with telecom trade groups about what to do next on network neutrality, including possibly having the Federal Trade Commission enforce voluntary commitments not to block or degrade, but he signaled at the press conference that was part of the same input-collection process generally and not about any pending proceeding.

A reporter had noted there had been no ex parte filing on that meeting, which would be required if it had dealt with a proceeding currently before the commission.

Pai said he did not outline a regulatory plan for rolling back Title II in that trade group meeting. "We did not discuss the merits of any pending proceeding," he said, but, again, generally how to "secure some of those principles of a free and open Internet that I think most people agree on."

Pai said he was "reaching out and trying to solicit a diversity of views among a diversity of stakeholders" and that he thought for their part they recognized, as he did, that "there is a lot of common ground here with respect to the need for a free and open internet."