FCC leaves net neutrality off the schedule

Net neutrality rules will be left off the schedule at the Federal Communications Commission's final public meeting of the year, according to a tentative agenda released Thursday.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had wanted to finalize rules by the end of the year. But FCC officials had previously confirmed it would be pushed back following President Obama's recommendations on the issue. 

Earlier this month, Wheeler said the agency would need "more time" to examine the legal implications of various rules meant to require Internet service providers to treat all Internet traffic the same. 

Wheeler's announcement came the same day that Obama urged the commission to treat broadband Internet as a public utility, similar to traditional telephones. Advocates say it is the only way to ban companies from cutting deals for faster service. 

Wheeler has been considering a number of proposals, including hybrids that would partially rely on the authority Obama outlined. Advocates for stronger rules had pushed back on Wheeler’s initial proposal earlier this year. 

So far, the FCC has three other items slated for its Dec. 11 meeting. 

The commission will consider a revamp of the FCC's E-rate program, meant to increase high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi at schools and libraries around the country. Wheeler unveiled the plan this week that calls to increase fees on phone customers to raise the yearly cap on the program to a total of $3.9 billion. 

The commission will also consider rules regarding the Connect America Fund, which aims to bring broadband to rural areas. The commission will also take up a public notice regarding the broadcast incentive auction, which was recently pushed back to 2016.