FCC Will Hold Net Neutrality Vote On February 26

Today FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler publicly committed his agency to a February 26th vote on new net neutrality regulations. The now-official timing is in keeping with market expectations The Chairman also indicated that he will circulate the proposed rules to the agency’s commissioners on February 5th.

Wheeler hinted in his interview at this year’s CES that he will employ Title II of the Communications Act to reclassify broadband access as a utility. The President called for similar action previously.

Any FCC plan that uses Title II as will be met with legal challenge, and howls from Congress. The chairman might not give a damn. The move, if his hinting is not some sort of trial balloon, is somewhat contrary somewhat against the Chairman’s previous preference for use of a different legal foundation for net neutrality, though, of course, Title II was never completely out of the question.

It will be interesting to see how much reaction we see from the constituent members of this debate. I doubt there is much new fat to chew, but expect complaints all the same.

The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last.