Wheeler, the future of net neutrality – and his job

Written by on November 21, 2016 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Tom Wheeler said he has made no decision regarding stepping down as FCC Chairman. “I think it’s an important thing to remember that taking a fast, fair, and open Internet away from the public and away from those who use it to offer innovative new services to the public, would be a real mistake,” Wheeler said.

The announcement came in a press conference following a rather short FCC public meeting – about 60s – following the dropping of virtually all the agenda items after Republicans asked him to stand down from “controversial” votes.

The agenda originally included votes on reduced price caps and other regulations for “special access” business data services (BDS), Universal Service funding to expand mobile broadband networks, wireless roaming obligations, and requirements for audio description of TV programming for blind and visually impaired people. All of those were taken off the agenda; Wheeler said that any item that drew objections from at least one commissioner was deleted. Tom Wheeler commented:

It is unfortunate that hospitals and small businesses in search of competitive alternatives will be denied that opportunity. They deserve better from this commission. It is truly disappointing that 1.4 million Americans living in rural areas without LTE service will continue to be so deprived. They deserve better from this commission. And it is tragic that 1.3 million Americans who are blind and millions more who are visually impaired will not be able to enjoy expanded video description. They deserve better from this commission.

But he hopes the FCC will take them up again after Republicans obtain a majority.

As to whether he would support legislators getting together on a new network-neutrality bill that would clarify FCC authority, Wheeler said: “I think it is always worthwhile when people try and work together. We tried to work together here on net neutrality. The difference became one of whether you had empty net neutrality with the title but not the reality and the other is whether you had meaningful net neutrality, and I assume that is what the debate is going to continue to be. “

More on Multichannel and Arstechnica

This article was first published on PricingDataPlans.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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