Conservative commissioners push for 30-day delay on net neutrality vote

Republican commissioners push for 30-day delay on net neutrality vote

24 FEB 2015

Two of the five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urged chairman Tom Wheeler to release his full proposal for net neutrality, which would delay this week’s final vote on the rules.

Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Mike O’Reilly are pushing for a full 332-page internet regulation plan to be published, with the public then given a reasonable chance to study it.

Such a move would involve a 30-day delay to the vote by the five-member commission, which is due this Thursday (26 February).

To date, the FCC has published only a short paper on net neutrality, laying out its thinking. That paper was published earlier this month.

The proposal called for a stricter set of rules that will treat broadband providers, including mobile operators, more like utilities. On the right, politicians oppose what they see as this more intrusive regulation.

The conservative commissioners have complained that Wheeler shifted position towards a more pro-net neutrality position, without making public his change of heart. At the end of last year, President Obama came out with a strongly pro-net neutrality position.

“With the future of the entire internet at stake, it is imperative that the FCC gets this right. And to do that, we must live up to the highest standards of transparency,” wrote the two commissioners in an open letter.

However, the reality is the Democrats have a built-in three-to-two majority over their Republican counterparts in the net neutrality vote. Wheeler tweeted to the effect that sufficient consultation has taken place. So far the FCC has given no indication of delaying Thursday’s vote.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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