Thanks to GOP Commissioners, We Won't See the Full Net Neutrality Rules Today
Two stubborn commission members are dragging their feet on the final order.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Image: Free Press/Flickr
The Federal Communications Commission will not release the text of its new net neutrality rules today even if the new policy is approved, a senior FCC official told Motherboard.
In fact, it could take weeks before the final rules are published, the official said. That's because the two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Mike O'Rielly—who oppose net neutrality of any sort—have refused to submit basic edits on the order.
The FCC will not release the text of the order until edits from the offices of all five commissioners are incorporated, including dissenting opinions. This will depend on how long the GOP commissioners refuse to provide edits on the new rules.
The FCC will still hold a press conference with reporters this afternoon to brief everyone on the new rules, even though the exact text of the final order is on hold.
"It could take weeks before the final rules are published"
"As is typical for a final rule and order, the final document is not available until staff makes final edits, which must be cleared by each commissioner," FCC press secretary Kim Hart told Motherboard. "This process typically takes a few weeks."
The FCC is voting on whether to reclassify internet service like traditional phone companies, which would give it stronger powers to regulate the industry.
The new rules, which are expected to be approved by a vote of 3-2, would prohibit internet providers from blocking sites as long as they're legal; slowing down or "throttling" certain traffic based on content; and paid prioritization, or "fast lanes" for certain publishers who pay more—three concepts that are at the core of net neutrality.
The new policy is expected to establish the strongest net neutrality framework in US history, and it's already being hailed as a landmark victory by open internet advocates.