House Committee probes FCC on White House’s net neutrality role

Committee Chairman wants a wealth of documents from the FCC after reading Wall Street Journal story on Title II reclassification plans.

The House Oversight Committee wants more information from the Federal Communications Commission on how it interacted with the White House before proposing to reclassify broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act.

In a letter sent to the FCC on Friday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the Oversight Committee chairman, asked the agency to turn over any communications between it and the White House that may be pertinent to net neutrality. The request comes after a
Wall Street Journal story documented how the White House interacted with the FCC as well as other key players at telecom companies and startups before President Barack Obama called for Title II reclassification in November.

The story was enough for Chaffetz to call for an investigation, asking the FCC to turn over: any and all FCC documents discussing net neutrality, open Internet, broadband classification or broadband Internet access; and all communications, internal documents, visitor logs and calendar appointments between the FCC, the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration from Jan. 14, 2014, to the present day.

The letter comes as Republicans have been
scrambling to pass a bill through Congress that would that would block or prevent Internet providers from paid prioritization, classify broadband as an “information service” (as opposed to a “telecommunications service”) and forbid the FCC from using Section 706 to regulate telecommunications service.


Chaffetz demands that all of the requested documents be turned over to the committee by Feb. 20. The FCC plans to vote on its open Internet proposal just six days later at its February open meeting.

Read the full House Oversight Committee letter below.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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