Chaffetz: FCC IG Investigating Title II Decision Process

Wheeler Says He Wasn't Aware of Move, but Will Cooperate

The FCC's Inspector General has opened an investigation into the process that produced the open Internet order, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

That came at the very end of a lengthy hearing on the FCC's relationship with the White House in the run-up to the Feb. 26 vote on Title II.

"We were made aware that the inspector general has opened an investigation of this process," said Chaffetz. "It's my understanding it's not an audit. It's not an inspection, but an actual investigation."

A stoic looking Wheeler said he had not heard about that investigation, and responded, tersely, when asked that  he would, "of course,” cooperate.

Chaffetz said as far as he was concerned the process had not been sufficiently transparent, and that Congress should mandate such openness. Wheeler said the process had been open, independent, and produced the right result for a free and fair and open Internet that was the most important communications medium in history.

Chaffetz was among a slew of Republicans who grilled Wheeler over his communications with the White House, his decision not to publicize the draft order beforehand, and about the impact of the decision, which they argue will stifle investment and innovation. Democrats on the panel gave Wheeler the chance to defend those contacts and his decision.

FCC spokespeople were not available for comment.