President-elect Donald Trump named two advisers to his Federal Communications Commission landing team yesterday, and the picks could spell more bad news for net neutrality.
Two anti-regulation scholars now on team
As previously reported, Jeffrey Eisenach, a well-known anti-regulation scholar at the the American Enterprise Institute, has been tapped to help the transition. Eisenach has testified before Congress on telecom issues, and once penned a New York Times opinion piece summing up his anti-net-neutrality stance. "Declaring the Internet a public utility is not necessary, and it will surely prove to be unwise," that article concluded.
Eisenach was later a focus of a Times investigation into think tank scholars with industry ties. The story noted his paid consultant jobs from the telecom industry.
Mark Jamison, a University of Florida professor, has also been named to the team. Jamison, a former Sprint lobbyist, has long been a critic of the FCC under Chairman Tom Wheeler, and has similarly criticized net neutrality and other regulatory policies enacted under him, going so far as to say the chairman "has often been criticized for his lack of effective leadership."
Both have telecom industry ties
"Net neutrality in the US is backfiring against some of the very people it is supposed to help," Jamison wrote in an American Enterprise Institute paper this year.
When Trump is inaugurated in January, he will have the power to swing the FCC back to conservative control, and with both a Republican White House and Congress, the FCC's net neutrality rules are in more danger of being rolled back than ever. Trump's latest advisers are a signal he may work to make that happen.