Ajit Pai’s FCC is still editing the net neutrality repeal order

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The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal network neutrality rules on December 14, but the FCC is still making edits to the repeal order and hasn't released the final version. The final order should be similar to the draft released by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai three weeks before the vote, but some changes will be made. "The goal is to release it as soon as possible," an FCC spokesperson said. The spokesperson said he can't discuss any changes made to the draft order until a final version is released.

FCC orders are sometimes released weeks after a vote, although orders are also often released the same day or within a few days of a vote. The time is used by FCC staff and the chairman's office to fix any mistakes or omissions and to respond to concerns raised by commissioners. Since net neutrality supporters will file lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the repeal, the final edits could also help Pai's office make the repeal order more legally defensible.  "It's certainly possible that this document will have more significant changes from the circulated draft stage than we've seen in other Pai orders," said Policy Director Matt Wood of Free Press. "Free Press and others pointed out not just scores of substantive flaws in the commission's arguments, but a number of procedural errors and notice fouls that frankly cannot be fixed with a post-vote band-aid. But that doesn't mean they aren't busily trying to apply those band-aids as we speak." Wood noted that it isn't unusual for orders to come out a few weeks after votes, and that the end-of-year holidays may have slowed this one down even more. Still, the absence of a final order nearly three weeks after the vote "seems a little more remarkable [because] Chairman Pai has gone so far out of his way to praise himself for transparency, speed, and quantity in his orders—apparently in the belief that he gets a gold star for releasing as many decisions as possible, as fast as possible, no matter how bad they are for the public," Wood said.


Ajit Pai’s FCC is still editing the net neutrality repeal order