Wheeler Accommodates Title II Protestors

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Thursday accommodated the protestors who initially interrupted the FCC's December public meeting to call for Title II reclassification of Internet access.

At the beginning of the meeting, the proceedings were briefly interrupted as protestors called for Title II to be on the agenda--it was not--talked about the plethora of comments in the docket, and even briefly unfurled a sign behind Wheeler.

"We need to have Title II on the agenda," shouted a protestor before his voice trailed off and FCC staffers started outlining the first item on the agenda. "Chairman Wheeler, we need a full accounting," said another.

The chairman asked one speaker to hold off for a minute as a protestor was shouting, but he did not upbraid the protestors. In fact, he pointed out that there were a lot of students in the audience--the first item was expanding schools and libraries--and said they had just seen "the First Amendment at Work," adding: "This is what the country is all about." 

One protestor even apologized for interrupting the meeting.

The chairman's accommodation was clear after the pro Title II banner was briefly unfurled behind him without incident. "We're not blocking protesters' access," a spokesperson for the chairman confirmed to Multi/B&C.

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.