President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai is rejecting calls from Democrats to delay a vote to repeal net neutrality rules after an investigation revealed that millions of comments in the agency’s public comment system are fake or fraudulent.
“The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14,” the FCC said in a statement Monday.
“This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai’s plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled,” the FCC said in a separate statement provided to Ars Technica.
The decision comes after a group of twenty-seven Democratic senators sent a letter to Pai on Monday demanding he delay the vote, citing their concerns around the investigation’s findings.
The Hill added:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) also made a similar case, as did the City of New York and advocacy groups. His office said last month that “tens of thousands” of New Yorkers may have had fake comments filed in their names.
Under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal proposal, the agency would scrap the Obama-era internet rules and cede authority over broadband providers to the Federal Trade Commission.
That scenario has some net neutrality supporters worried. The city of New York and advocacy groups said that if a court decides the FTC doesn’t have authority, that could create a “‘regulatory gap’ that would leave consumers utterly unprotected,” their letter to Pai reads.
In such a scenario, Congress would have to get involved and legislate on what agency has regulatory authority over Internet providers. However, Congress has so far made little progress on the issue.