Chairman Pai Set to Release Draft Net Neutrality Item
On November 21, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement announcing that he had circulated his draft Restoring Internet Freedom Order to his fellow commissioners. The draft Order will largely undo the 2015 Open Internet Order and limit FCC jurisdiction over broadband Internet access services, although it appears that the order will retain a transparency requirement for broadband providers. Fellow Republican FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly cheered the anticipated release, while Democratic Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel opposed it. Commissioners of the FTC—which could be the largest jurisdictional beneficiary of the Order, subject to a pending en banc proceeding in the Ninth Circuit—were similarly split down party lines in their reaction to the news. Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen issued a statement expressing gratification that the FCC appeared to take the FTC Staff’s and Acting FTC Chairman’s public comments into consideration in formulating the draft Order. The FCC will release the draft item on November 22nd, and is set to vote on the item on December 14th. We will update you on the scope and implications of the draft Order when Chairman Pai releases it.