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Pai, O'Rielly to Hold Title II Press Conference

The Federal Communications Commission's two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, will hold a joint press conference Feb. 26 following the agency's expected vote to reclassify Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II. Pai and O'Rielly will likely be strongly dissenting from those rules.

The FCC chairman historically holds a press conference following a vote, but not the ranking minority commissioner (Pai). The Pai-O'Rielly press conference will follow chairman Tom Wheeler's in the commission meeting room, according to Pai's office.

The move is unusual, but not unprecedented, at least after Pai held a press conference two weeks ago to criticize the Open Internet draft order and attribute it to influence from the White House.

Pai has been unusually vocal in his criticism and opposition, but then, the vote is being hailed as a historic one, either for protecting an Open Internet or for overregulating in search of a problem, depending on which side of the issue one stands. Pai and O'Reilly are definitely in the latter camp.

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.