DC Trawler

‘Did the Commission kill the future of the Internet today? Of course not.’

Mike Riggs Contributor
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That quote is from FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker, one of two Republicans on the FCC and a staunch opponent of Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal.  The commission’s Democratic majority rubber-stamps those rules today, despite objections from the netroots left and conservatives/libertarians.

Baker’s level-headedness is reassuring. Then again, bureaucrats have skin in a different game, and by those standards, Baker is not expected to stop the regulations from passing (Baker and McDowell are loud, but they’re still in the minority.)

CNN tech writer Amy Gahran has already raised a fresh concern:

As of early Tuesday (and despite ample mainstream news coverage of the vote) no one outside of the FCC has seen the final draft of the order. The FCC has not posted this document to its website, nor has the latest draft of the net neutrality order been leaked.

In fact, FCC officials said Monday that the final order won’t be published until “several days” after the vote. GigaOm explained that FCC claims this delay is because the agency must “address any dissenting views from the commissioners in the order.”

The bottom line is: The public, which will be affected by this order, is not yet allowed to see exactly what it says before the vote. We’ll only find out what it requires (or not) after it’s a done deal. Also, the final version of the order could differ substantially from the proposed rules published October 22.