Kerry urges FCC Democrats to vote for net neutrality

Sen. John KerryJohn KerryBrazil wants U.S. to pay not to raze Amazon Overnight Energy: Biden will aim to cut US emissions in half by 2030 | Oil and gas leasing pause on public lands will last at least through June The era of climate statecraft is here MORE (D-Mass.) wrote to Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday urging them to support a net neutrality proposal, even though it is not perfect.

"Some advocates for what we consider to be 'the perfect' are now urging you to fight and vote against the good. I would argue that is short sighted," Kerry wrote in a letter to FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps, both Democrats. 

Kerry, chairman of the Communications subcommittee, said he would support the proposal "with some reservations" if he were a commissioner.  


"While an outright ban on the ability of network owners to act as gatekeepers in any way may be what we would prefer, if the proposed rule can empower the agency, advocates, engineers, and the media to police practices that could threaten innovation or speech at the edge of the network then we should embrace it," he said. 

Copps and Clyburn likely want stronger protections than what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed last week, but he needs their votes to pass his plan. 

Copps has promised to work "tirelessly ... to ensure real network neutrality" is protected by the prospective rules. The Democratic commissioners have until Dec. 21 to negotiate and suggest tweaks to the chairman's proposal. 

The FCC's two Republican commissioners have made it clear they will not support the proposal. Kerry acknowledged that in his letter.

"That is their right," he said.