The FCC Continues to Delay as Net Neutrality Becomes a Political Football

While reports indicated that the FCC would make a decision regarding net neutrality as early as December, the issue seems more cloudy than ever.

net neutrality

net neutrality

Recent reporting about net neutrality assumed that a decision would be reached by December of this year. But with additional comments coming in, including those from President Obama, it seems the decision has been postponed, and the issue has grown more cloudy.

Initially, the matter appeared somewhat settled: The FCC was going to set up a regulatory system using a dual system, and Chairman Tom Wheeler wasn’t hostile to President Obama’s comments on Title II reclassification.

“What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn’t affect your business,” Wheeler said at a recent meeting, according to Washington Post sources. “What I’ve got to figure out is how to split the baby.” FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart also told the Washington Post claims that the FCC is close to a decision are “inaccurate.”

As the net neutrality controversy continues, the FCC also continues to stall. An FCC official told the Daily Dot that the stalling isn’t political, but a consequence of building a sturdier legal framework:

Before the president weighed in, several of our staff felt like the record was a little thin in areas, and the last thing you want when you go to court for the third time is for a court to say the record was too thin, or you didn’t give adequate notice. We are going to be so careful this time that we have crossed every T and dotted every I. Some of the staff felt we’re not quite there yet.

However, the issue may have turned into a political football as politicians take sides, and this leaves Chairman Wheeler not only caught between the telecommunications industry and the public, but also caught between political parties. Even still, there is evidence that Wheeler — a former telecom lobbyist — is too cozy with ISPs, and this relationship could influence his decision.