FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said Monday he will not vote
to block the chairman's network neutrality item Tuesday.
Given Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's praise of the
draft last week that likely means the chairman has his three votes to approve the
Copps said he was not wholeheartedly in support, but that
the draft had been sufficiently improved for him not to block it, which is how
he phrased his "support."
The two Republicans are opposed.
"These past three weeks have been devoted on my part to
intensive discussions about ensuring the continued openness of the Internet and
putting consumers, not Big Phone and Big Cable, in maximum control of their
online experiences," said Copps in a statement. "I have been fighting
for nearly a decade to make sure the Internet doesn't travel down the same road
of special interest consolidation and gate-keeper control that other media and
telecommunications industries-radio, television, film and cable-have
traveled. What an historic tragedy it would be to let that fate befall
the dynamism of the Internet. The item we will vote on tomorrow is not
the one I would have crafted."
"But I believe we have been able to make the current
iteration better than what was originally circulated. If vigilantly and vigorously
implemented by the Commission-and if upheld by the courts-it could represent an
important milestone in the ongoing struggle to safeguard the awesome
opportunity-creating power of the open Internet. While I cannot vote
wholeheartedly to approve the item, I will not block it by voting against
it. I instead plan to concur so that we may move forward. I do thank the
Chairman for his engagement, and I owe a special debt of gratitude to
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for her thoughtful and creative work to improve