Sources: Dec. FCC Meeting Items May Not Circulate Tuesday

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If there is no word on a network neutrality item by end of day Nov. 30, that does not necessarily mean it won't be on the FCC's December agenda.

That would normally be the conclusion, but word from sources at the FCC Monday was that the chairman's office has signaled that the item(s) for the Dec. 21 meeting may not be circulated until Wednesday, Dec. 1. That means the chairman could take another day to decide on and prepare the agenda, including anything on network neutrality.

That would be a day after the customary three-week notice deadline for items being proposed for consideration at the monthly public meetings (so commissioners can have time to weigh in with their questions, comments and proposed edits).

A spokesperson for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had no comment on reports there would be "wiggle room" until Wednesday on the notice, but that proves to be the case it could be in part because Nov. 30 is this month's public meeting date and staffers will be focused on launching the proposals to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters that are on that agenda.

The December meeting date has already been pushed back from Dec. 15, a move widely believed to have been made to give the chairman time to tee up an item that would pave the wav for codifying and expanding its network neutrality rules by establishing clearer legal authority for doing so, though an FCC spokesperson has called that speculation from uninformed sources.

One source close to a commissioner suggested that if the FCC does schedule a network neutrality item by Wednesday, it could be tougher to also get the Comcast/NBCU merger decision out by the end of the year, given that it still has not been circulated among the commissioners for their comments and edits. But if there was no net neutrality item on the agenda, the source added, they were expecting that Comcast/NBCU decision to get done by Jan. 1.

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