FCC Spokesman: Pai Within Bounds to Champion Net Neutrality Proposal

An FCC spokesman said Wednesday that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was well within the law to speak out in favor of his net neutrality proposal, which includes rolling back Title II reclassification, eliminating the general conduct standard and reviewing the Open Internet order rules.

That came after a story in The Hill newspaper that Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) had suggested the chairman may have violated a requirement that the FCC must consider public comment before taking a particular policy position.

"Like Chairman [Tom] Wheeler before him and all others in FCC leadership, the law is clear that Chairman Pai can express his opinion and speak out in favor of his proposed approach to ensuring Internet Freedom," said the spokesman. "As Chairman Pai made clear in his speech, he intends to seek public input on his proposal and that this will be the beginning of the discussion, not the end."

Related: Rep. Pallone: Pai's Proposal Is Threat to Online Speech

Indeed, Chairman Pai emphasized that "this decision should be made through an open and transparent process in which every American can share his or her view."

A spokesperson for the senator was not available at press time to comment on The Hill story.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.