Washington

Sources: December FCC Meeting Items May Not Circulate Tuesday

No word doesn't mean network neutrality won't be on the December agenda 11/29/2010 03:52:56 PM Eastern

If there is no word on a network neutrality item
by end of day Nov. 30 that does not necessarily mean it won't be on the FCC's
December agenda.

That would normally be the conclusion, but word
from sources at the FCC Monday was that the chairman's office has signaled
that the item(s) for the Dec. 21 meeting may not be circulated until Wednesday,
Dec. 1. That means the chairman could take another day to decide what items
will be on the agenda, including anything on network neutrality.

That would be a day after the customary three-week
notice deadline for items being proposed for consideration at the monthly
public meetings (so commissioners can have time to weigh in with their
questions, comments and proposed edits).

A spokesperson for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
had no comment on reports there would be "wiggle room" until
Wednesday on the notice, but if so it could be in part because Nov. 30 is this
month's public meeting date and folks are focused on launching the proposals to
reclaim spectrum from broadcasters that are on that agenda.

The December meeting date has already been pushed
back from Dec. 15, a move widely believed to have been made to give the
chairman time to tee up an item that would pave the wav for codifying and
expanding its network neutrality rules by establishing clearer legal authority
for doing so, though an FCC spokesperson has called that speculation from
uninformed sources.

One source close to a commissioner suggested that if the FCC does
schedule a network neutrality item by Wednesday, it could be tougher to
also get the Comcast/NBCU merger decision out by the end of the year, given
that it still has not been circulated among the commissioners for their
comments and edits. But if there was no net neutrality item on the agenda, the
source added, they were expecting that Comcast/NBCU decision to get done by
Jan. 1.

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