Trump taps another net neutrality critic for FCC transition

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President-elect Donald Trump is tapping another critic of net neutrality to help with the transition at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The Trump transition team announced on Tuesday that Roslyn Layton will join the FCC landing team. Layton will work alongside Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison.

{mosads}Layton, like her two colleagues, has served as a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank.

The three are all critics of the agency’s controversial net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same.

“The FCC’s recent actions and the White House’s intervention is inconsistent with a stable, evidence-based regulatory approach,” Layton wrote about net neutrality in a 2015 op-ed cowritten with Jamison.

Layton went on to say that the FCC should focus on other matters.

“The situation distracts the FCC from its mission-critical responsibilities, such as the upcoming incentive auction to get more spectrum in the marketplace and meet consumers’ increasing demand for wireless technologies.”

The picks are raising worries among supporters of net neutrality that the regulation could be on the chopping block in a Trump administration. The rules were a centerpiece of President Obama’s tech agenda, but are opposed by many congressional Republicans.

In November, Layton outlined digital trade priorities for the next administration to consider. In her Tech Policy Daily op-ed, she urged the Trump administration to focus on promoting international broadband and challenging Chinese apps head-on, and also reinforced her stance on the FCC stepping back from net neutrality regulations.

“As my forthcoming research on the mobile app economy shows, the Chinese succeed in making significant mobile app innovation without having explicit open internet rules,” Layton wrote. “This contradicts the regulatory dogma and suggests that policymakers should rethink their assumptions about how internet innovation works.”

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