The DJ U.S. Telecommunications Index increased over three percent since Donald Trump secured last week enough Electoral College votes to become the United States’ 45th president.The telecommunications sector increased .94% on a day where leaders of the Senate and House commerce committees requested that Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler not make any decisions on controversial items until the new Administration and the 115th Congress take over next January.
Social media has raised speculation that Ajit Pai, one of two current Republican members of the Commission, may be given the nod as its chairman. Mr Pai, along with fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly, has been an advocate of light touch regulation of the telecommunications sector. So far I have seen no indication that Mr Trump has anyone else in mind for the chairmanship. Should Mr Pai get the nod, it is likely that net neutrality rules will be severely watered down or repealed completely.
Congress may also put the icing on the cake by codifying net neutrality’s transparency and no-blocking/throttling principles while codifying a light touch regulatory regime for broadband going forward.