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Doyle Pushes FCC's Pai to Disclose Net Neutrality Discussions

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee has called on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to brief Congress on conversations he has had with ISPs and edge providers about how he plans to proceed on network neutrality and also inform the public about them.

Reports, including in B&C, have chronicled meetings with telecom trade groups — confirmed by sources — and Silicon Valley powerhouses. Pai himself talked of such a meeting last week.

Doyle characterized Pai's plans — to roll back Title II classification of internet access — as "plans to undermine the FCC's 2015 Open Internet order, and said the meetings appeared to be an effort to scale back net neutrality protections.

Related: Ajit Pai Charts the Future

The trade groups and edge providers did not file ex parte notices informing the public of those meetings, but Pai said last week that they had not discussed the merits of any pending proceeding, which is the trigger for ex parte disclosures.

But Doyle said that regardless of what was discussed, Pai has a duty to keep Congress informed. "In response to a letter from my office earlier this year, you noted that 'the commission is a creature of Congress, and it is therefore important that we keep Congress informed about what the FCC is doing,'" he pointed out.

In addition to briefing Congress, Doyle wants Pai to document any conversations he has had with outside groups on modifying the order and make then public on the FCC's website.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.