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Another FCC commissioner asks Tom Wheeler to delay net neutrality vote

Another FCC commissioner asks Tom Wheeler to delay net neutrality vote

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Not long after FCC Commissioner Jennifer Rosenworcel asked agency chair Tom Wheeler to delay bringing his controversial net neutrality proposal to the table next week, another commissioner has also come out against the plan. "I have grave concerns about the Chairman's proposal on Internet regulation and do not believe that it should be considered at the Commission's May meeting," said Ajit Pai in a short statement. Instead, he urged the commission to spend its May meeting focusing on the upcoming spectrum auction. Previously, Rosenworcel expressed concerns about "rushing headlong" into a proposal without providing ample time for public response, but reports have suggested that Wheeler declined to take her advice.

Wheeler's compromise plan, drafted after a stinging legal defeat in January, hasn't satisfied commissioners on either side of the political aisle. Pai, an outspoken conservative, has called net neutrality "a solution in search of a problem," putting him in stark contrast to both Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, who promised to uphold a "free and open internet" in a blog post yesterday. Pai's views are echoed by Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who recently published an op-ed arguing that Wheeler's rules were based on Congressional authority that didn't exist. For many conservatives and libertarians, no net neutrality rules are good net neutrality rules, and Wheeler's proposal still attempts to establish a baseline service quality requirement. For more generally liberal net neutrality proponents, the rules let ISPs establish a "fast lane" for companies that pay for better delivery speeds.

The exact details of Wheeler's plan, however, haven't been released. They're supposed to be discussed at a meeting on May 15th, when the FCC will determine whether or not to approve a draft of the proposal. Protesters have already gathered outside the FCC offices ahead of the meeting, and over a hundred companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, have issued a statement opposing the proposal.