The biggest news on the internet last week was about the internet itself, specifically FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement that he will be proposing that broadband be reclassified under Title II, allowing everyone equal, unbiased access to the internet. In November, President Obama called on the FCC to support net neutrality by exercising the Title II option. When Wheeler did exactly that on Wednesday, some members of Congress grew suspicious.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, contacted Wheeler on Friday asking for all correspondence, calendar appointments, and visitor logs between the FCC and The White House as the GOP grows suspicious of Wheeler’s change in policy.
Wheeler’s Wednesday proposal is a drastic turnaround from previous net neutrality proposals he’s made, including a 99-page train wreck he proposed in May last year. Speaking with C-Span on the controversial issue, Gigi Sohn rejected the idea that The White House had any “improper influence,” as described by Chaffetz, on Wheeler’s decision and simply that Obama’s November statement “[gave] him cover to do something that he already was thinking about doing.”
All of this is really just the first step in what will be a long battle to actually get Wheeler’s future vision of wired (and wireless) internet into law. The battle for net neutrality is really just beginning and even before the big telecoms get their day in court, it seems congress will be the proposal’s first challenger. [The Wall Street Journal]
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