Ajit Pai awoke in a very bad mood on Wednesday. It would be difficult to smarm today, even if his Big Mug were full of something other than chamomile tea -- which, of course, it wasn't. Recently he'd been forced to share data about whether providers' services met their advertised speed, and show the technologies operators used -- fiber or DSL.
Of course, he had not really been forced, Pai assured himself as he affixed whitening strips to his teeth. He ran the show, as everyone knew. It is, however, called politics for a reason and sometimes you have to play the game. Pai winked at his reflection, then reached for Aspirin to calm the immediate headache that caused.
After all, he mused on his way into the office, some pesky people (h/t Ars Technica) noticed when his Federal Communications Commission didn't release the 2017 Measuring Broadband Program report. And they really took stock when the 2018 report never emerged. People actually read this thing? Amazing. At least one media outlet made two public records requests. Pushy. Most folk did not notice if their partner swapped out the couch. He obviously was very important, with so many people hanging on his acts and words.
He wasn't the only one deceived by the Russians, for crying out loud. How was he to know the Putin and his gang cared about net neutrality in the US? Maybe Mueller should get involved? No, not a good idea. Pai quickly shook his head. What about Facebook's role in all this? And Twitter? Maybe he'd get PR onto that… Hmm.
Well, he had released the numbers all right. Yeah, right in the middle of pre-holiday rush, all in one big, giant bumper-size issue. Now instead of family time and the year-end doldrums, those reporters would have to dig hard to unbury this data carefully hidden away in the appendices (on page 349 and page 463). And his blog? Well, he told consumers about things they really care about: Robocalls and 5G. Oooh, and rural, of course. That's very on-trend.
His peeps would shrink the comparison base, just to make things fun. What else? Why not make it more difficult to compare providers' services? That should get a rise out of the media and competing operators. Maybe? Maybe not.
It started out as a very bad day, but it wasn't so terrible after all, he thought later. Pai stretched languidly. Maybe he'd make that 762-page report twice as long when he repeated the ploy in 2020.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.