FCC commissioner’s call to delay net neutrality vote gets bipartisan applause


By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org

A plea by the Democratic Federal Communications Commissioner to delay a vote next week on new net neutrality regulations won approval on both sides of the aisle. Her admonishment, however, was hardly an olive branch in the long war over control of the Internet.

NET NEUTRALITY: The FCC votes on net neutrality generally fall along partisan lines, but Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel could potentially vote “No” to buy time to consider public opposition to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel recently told a gathering of librarians she felt the commission should delay a vote for at least a month on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal.

Calling the process “rushed,” she hoped to give the commission time to wade through the recent deluge of progressive activists’ and tech companies‘ pleas arguing that Wheeler’s plan does not go far enough to tie the hands of Internet service providers.

An unnamed FCC source reportedly said the commission would go ahead with the vote, although the rules are unlikely to pass — Rosenworcel is joined in her opposition by FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael , both Republicans.

On Thursday, Pai — who has historically opposed the commission’s attempts to regulate the Internet through net neutrality — voiced his support for a delay on the May 15 vote.

Pai said the FCC should instead focus on its upcoming incentive auctions for Internet service providers to compete for portions of the electromagnetic spectrum on which Internet data travels.

California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, who has been courting Silicon Valley campaign donations, said Rosenworcel’s request for a delay was “on target.”

Even right-of-center activists applauded Rosenworcel’s efforts to delay Wheeler’s proposal.

Seton Motley, president of Less Government, a nonprofit focused on reducing the size and scope of the federal government, in a blog post on RedState encouraged Rosenworcel to vote “No” on Wheeler’s proposal.

“What it would mean is We the People would have more time to weigh in on this huge government infliction on one-sixth of our nation’s economy,” said Motley, an ardent critic of the FCC’s attempts to regulate the Internet through net neutrality.

“Which is just what Commissioner Rosenworcel rightly wants,” he said, “Her No vote would give us that.”

Contact Josh Peterson at jpeterson@watchdog.org. Follow Josh on Twitter at @jdpeterson