Copps Will Vote For FCC's Net Neutrality Item

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Federal Communications Commission commissioner Michael Copps said Monday he will not vote to block chairman Julius Genachowski'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 item.

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 this item."

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