The Federal Communications Commission might have to delay a vote on new net-neutrality regulations.
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic FCC commissioner, said Wednesday that she has “real concerns” with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal, which would allow Internet service providers to charge websites for special “fast lanes” in at least some cases. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal next Thursday.
“I think we should delay our consideration of his rules by at least a month,” Rosenworcel said in a speech before a library group in Washington. “I believe that rushing headlong into a rule-making next week fails to respect the public response to his proposal.”
The two Republicans on the commission are expected to vote against any net-neutrality rules, arguing that they would unnecessarily burden Internet providers. That means Wheeler needs the votes of both Democratic commissioners to move ahead with the new rules.
Opposition from Rosenworcel could force Wheeler back to the drawing board. But the chairman doesn’t appear to be backing down.
In a statement, an FCC spokesman said Wheeler “fully supports a robust public debate on how best to protect the Open Internet, which is why he intends to put forward his proposals for public comment next week.”
“Moving forward will allow the American people to review and comment on the proposed plan without delay, and bring us one step closer to putting rules on the books to protect consumers and entrepreneurs online,” the spokesman for the chairman said.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s old net-neutrality rules in January. Wheeler is trying to rework the regulations in a way that can stand up to future court challenges.
His proposal would still bar Internet providers from blocking websites but would allow them to charge websites for faster service as long as the arrangements are “commercially reasonable.”
Liberals are outraged that the FCC would allow fast lanes, warning it could tilt the Internet in favor of the largest corporations and stifle free speech online.
In her speech, Rosenworcel noted that the chairman’s “proposal has unleashed a torrent of public response.”
“Tens of thousands of e-mails, hundreds of calls, commentary all across the Internet,” Rosenworcel said. “We need to respect that input, and we need time for that input. So while I recognize the urgency to move ahead and develop rules with dispatch, I think the greater urgency comes in giving the American public opportunity to speak right now, before we head down this road.”
Mignon Clyburn, the other Democratic FCC commissioner, said in a blog post Wednesday that she is “listening” to the thousands of people who have spoken out on the issue.
“I would have prohibited pay for priority arrangements altogether,” Clyburn said.
More than one hundred technology companies sent a letter to the FCC Wednesday, urging the agency to ban “fast lanes.”
Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and others said the chairman’s proposal “represents a grave threat to the Internet.”This article has been updated with a statement from an FCC spokesman
What We're Following See More »
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."
According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.
The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."