Ajit Pai introduced he’ll be stepping down as FCC chairman, slightly than ready round to be fired by Biden on January 20. Finest generally known as a monopoly-loving foe of Internet Neutrality, Pai additionally let stand the abusive observe of charging imprisoned moms and dads as a lot as $14 a minute to speak to their youngsters on the cellphone.
From Cory’s 2017 post:
The American jail system is residence to one of many best market-failures within the historical past of telephony (which is saying one thing): a monopolistic system wherein sole-supplier, hedge-fund owned telcoms operators cost as a lot as $14/minute for prisoners to speak with their attorneys, households and family members.
It is not laborious to know how this technique took place: for one factor, states get kickbacks from the gougers, who earn billions ripping off the overwhelmingly poor and racialized households of prisoners, whereas prisons (particularly non-public prisons) substitute in-person visits with balky, semi-functional video calls that price much more than voice-calls (and which are easier for prison authorities to illegally wiretap than in-person visits). Is it any surprise that there is a booming marketplace for metal-detector-inert mini-phones that will fit in your rectum?
In 2015, the Obama FCC took steps regulate this titanic, abusive market-failure, however then Trump’s FCC reversed course, refusing to defend the rule in a court docket problem introduced by the states that had shared within the booty. With out a protection, the rule was struck down.
Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai kinds himself a free market ideologue, however he is by no means met a corrupt, government-backed monopoly he did not like, from prison-phones to state legal guidelines than ban cities from offering broadband to prospects the carriers underserve or refuse to serve altogether.
Within the meantime, this monopoly is costing us a technology: 2.7 million prisoners’ kids are being systematically denied entry to their incarcerated dad and mom. These kids do worse at school than their friends who can usually contact their incarcerated dad and mom, usually tend to be expelled, and their dad and mom usually tend to divorce.
What is going to Pai do subsequent? That relies on which monopoly Pai enriched throughout his tenure offers him the perfect job supply.
(Picture: Michael, CC-BY)