Staff Update Mac Clemmens

Reflections on meeting FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
A dialog on bridging the digital divide

I was privileged to meet FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to discuss bridging the digital divide and net neutrality. Despite differences in policy, we had a productive dialog. He has a bold plan to expand opportunity and access, and I look forward to holding him accountable, particularly to the needs of smaller businesses like ours.

I first learned that he was coming to SF because of an email telling me about a protest. As passionate as I am about Net Neutrality, I decided it would be more productive to participate in discourse than to just express my opinion. (I guess I’d rather be at the table than on the menu.) I learned a great deal tonight, especially from many of the great minds and technology leaders who were there. I also appreciate having the lines of communication open, so even if a policy doesn’t go the way I’d like, I can let them know how it is affecting my business, our greater Sacramento region, and the sustainability of businesses across our country that rely on a free and open internet.

America is #15 in the world when it comes to internet speed, and we pay the most of any developed country to connect. I’m going to stick it to the FCC to fix our market failures. After all, 3/4 of households in the US only have one broadband choice. That’s unacceptable.

Now, let’s get some money for rural areas to expand broadband, free up the spectrum, and open up the poles and tubes for private companies to lay fiber for a free and open internet!