Democratic FCC commissioner balks at so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules

“A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules that are set for a vote on Thursday, The Hill has learned,” Julian Hattem reports for The Hill. “Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of the restrictions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said.”

“The request — which Wheeler has yet to respond to — puts the chairman in the awkward position of having to either roll back his proposals, or defend the tough rules and convince Clyburn to back down,” Hattem reports. “It’s an ironic spot for Wheeler, who for months was considered to be favoring weaker rules than those pushed for by his fellow Democrats, before he reversed himself about backing tougher restrictions on Internet service providers.”

“Wheeler will need the votes of both Clyburn and Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to pass the rules since the two Republicans on the commission are expected to vote against,” Hattem reports. “Clyburn’s changes would leave in place the central and most controversial component of Wheeler’s rules — the notion that broadband Internet service should be reclassified so that it can be treated as a ‘telecommunications’ service under Title II of the Communications Act, similar to utilities like phone lines… However, she wants to eliminate a new legal category of ‘broadband subscriber access services,’ which was created as an additional point of legal authority for the FCC to monitor the ways that companies hand off traffic on the back end of the Internet.”

“The full text of the rules will not be revealed to the public until after the FCC’s vote on Thursday morning,” Hattem reports. “In keeping with FCC procedural rules, the four other commissioners outside of Wheeler’s office got their first look at the rules just two and a half weeks ago. Now they are scrambling to make edits ahead of the vote on Thursday morning.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over eight years ago:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net neutral.MacDailyNews Take, June 9, 2006

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14 Comments

  1. Surely telecom lobbying firms are frantically pulling all strings possible to mess with net neutrality at all costs. But more money is against them this time, so all of those tricks and delays will not work.

  2. If you really want the government to run the internet the way they run everything else, then by all means support this foolishness called Net Neutrality, which it will never ever be… I wouldn’t trust the government to do anything correctly, all they do is make problems, find way to make them worse to keep everything a perpetual crisis, 9 times out of 10, they made the crisis themselves.

    1. If #MyStupidGovernment can manage to simply stop The Corporate Oligarchy from running the Internet, we’d be fine. But as we know, The Corporate Oligarchy has already bought #MyStupidGovernment and will ruin Real Net Neutrality at any cost. They’ve got one of their chief lobbyists running the FCC! Their pal Thomas Wheeler. So much for the good old days of the internet. 😛

  3. I’m sorry, but is the public demanding the internet be fixed?! Is the public demanding that the internet is completely broken, screwed up to a massive level with ever-higher costs they can no loner afford with fewer services and choices than ever before?… No.

    So why again does the Government need to go turn this into a public utility and control this? Oh yes, fairness, equality, and of course, government control for the ever-expanding bureaucracy.

    The internet is awesome because it’s been largely left hands-off by our Government. Well no more.

    Obama said last week that we need to corral the “wild-west” that is the internet. Uh why?… I do believe people moved out to the wild west in droves. Lots of land, hope, promise, a new life, and the government way back in D.C. where it belonged…

  4. The fact that they won’t let the public see the proposals before they vote on them is all you need to know if you are smarter than a rutabaga. Btw, did you know that the Internet will not only be under the thumb of the FCC, but the FEC (Federal Election Commission) too? Be afraid, be very afraid.

    The FCC has no legal authority to take over the Internet. The administration is, again, illegally bypassing Congress. Expect massive litigation.

  5. How much you want to bet she gets a high profile job in the Cable or ISP industries or lobbying about 30 seconds after her term is up. Kind of like the commissioner that signed off on Comcast taking over NBC- Universal and then resigning to take a position with Comcast.

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