FCC Republicans were last to see ‘fast lane’ plan

The two Republicans at the Federal Communications Commission were the last to see Chairman Tom Wheeler’s latest plans to rewrite the agency’s net neutrality rules.

“When it comes to the Chairman's latest net neutrality proposal, the Democratic Commissioners are in the fast lane and the Republican Commissioners apparently are being throttled,” Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai’s office said in a statement.

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On Tuesday morning, with less than 48 hours to go before the agency’s scheduled preliminary vote on the order, the offices of the agency's two Republicans, Pai and Michael O’Rielly, said they had not received the newest version of Wheeler’s plans until Tuesday afternoon.

At its monthly meeting on Thursday, the FCC is scheduled to take a preliminary vote on Wheeler’s plans to rewrite the net neutrality rules, which kept Internet providers from slowing or blocking access to certain websites before they were struck down by a federal court earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Wheeler announced that his resurrected net neutrality rules would allow Internet providers to charge websites and online services for better access to users.

Facing intense backlash from tech companies, public interest groups and Democrats at the agency and in Congress over the proposed "fast lanes," Wheeler has been tweaking his plan to put more focus on that fact that other options, including stricter rules, are still on the table.

While Democrats on the commission had early access to Wheeler’s revised proposal, Republicans were kept in the dark, according to Pai’s office.

“The Chairman's Office should end this discrimination and stop blocking the Republican Commissioners from seeing the Chairman's latest plan,” Pai’s Chief of Staff Matthew Berry said in his statement early on Tuesday.

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m.