GOP regulators plead for delay: ‘Future of the entire Internet at stake’

The two Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission are making a final plea to delay Thursday’s vote on net neutrality rules.

The commissioners said the proposal should be publicly released, with the vote then delayed for at least 30 days to allow time for review. 

{mosads}“Then, after the Commission reviews the specific input it receives from the American public and makes any modifications to the plan as appropriate, we could proceed to a final vote,” commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly said in a statement. 

“With the future of the entire Internet at stake, it is imperative that the FCC get this right,” they added. 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has rebuffed similar requests from the commissioners and members of Congress. Wheeler has said releasing the rules early would run contrary to past procedure. A thoughtful review would be necessary before the change, Wheeler has said.

Wheeler reiterated his point in a tweet on Monday.

The Republican commissioners cited a poll released last week that found 79 percent of people supported releasing the text of the rules publicly before a vote. 

They said the request has been made before and quoted past Democratic commissioners who asked for a delay of media ownership rules in 2003. 

“Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that the American people are growing increasingly concerned about government regulation of the Internet and that they want the Commission to disclose the plan,” they said. 

Pai, O’Rielly and Republicans in Congress are strongly opposed to reclassifying broadband Internet service under authority governing traditional telephone service.

The commission usually circulates regulations internally three weeks before a vote but does not make them public until after a vote.

While the broad outlines of the net neutrality rules have been released, the public and other stakeholders have not seen the text of the regulations.

Tags Ajit Pai Federal Communications Commission Michael O'Rielly Net neutrality

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