Ajit Pai says he’s fixed giant FCC error that exaggerated broadband growth


Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai with his oversized coffee mug in November 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The Federal Communications Commission has fixed the gigantic error that skewed its broadband deployment data, Chairman Ajit Pai announced today—while claiming that the corrected data still shows his policies are boosting broadband access.

Pai initially released a summary of the data in February, claiming it showed that his deregulatory policies have sped up broadband deployment in the United States. Even this initial, exaggerated data only showed modest growth similar to the gains seen during the Obama administration, as we reported at the time.

Pai didn’t release the full Broadband Deployment Report, instead providing just a few details in a one-page press release. Despite the limited information available, advocacy group Free Press was able to discover a huge error that showed broadband progress under Pai’s leadership was less impressive than he claimed. Specifically, a new ISP called BarrierFree falsely told the FCC that it went from serving zero customers to 20 percent of the country in just six months, and the FCC didn’t notice the mistake on its own.

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