FCC's Rosenworcel Confirms Action Unlikely on Sec. 230 Petition

FCC Building
(Image credit: FCC)

Acting FCC chair didn't make any big news at her first post-meeting press conference Wednesday (Feb. 17), but she did confirm that she is still a fan of net neutrality rules and no fan of the Trump Administration petition to the FCC to regulate social media using Sec. 230.

Also Read: Senate Democrats Target Sec. 230

With the commissioner currently at a 2-2 political tie, she pointed out that will obviously have an impact on big ticket items.

Asked about those two issues and how she planned to proceed, Rosenworcel pointed out that she had made it clear she did not favor commission action the the Sec. 230 petition from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.

"I do not believe the FCC should be the President's speech police. I continue to not favor action on that petition." She said she had no additional insight on it, though if she remains chairwoman, clearly action is unlikely. 

On that topic, asked if she anticipated having the "acting" removed from her title, she said she would leave that up to the White House.

On the issue of net neutrality, she said the record reflected that she supported net neutrality--she voted against the Restoring Internet Freedom order that eliminated the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. 

Also Read: Simington Warns of Title II-Driven Artificial Crisis

She said the FCC was "assessing right now what the best way is forward conscious of the composition of the commission." Most on both sides argue the best way would be for Congress to clearly establish exactly what the FCC's authority over net neutrality is. 

Rosenworcel was asked about her plan for a top-to-bottom review, but suggested it was regular practice for anyone taking over an agency to review issues in every bureau to see if then need a revamp.

One signal Rosenworcel has clearly sent is that there needs to be more intra- and inter-agency cooperation, communication and coordination.

John Eggerton

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.