FCC Meeting to End Open Internet Rules Interrupted by Threat

(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Communications Commission, citing a security threat, briefly adjourned a meeting as it prepared to vote on rolling back net neutrality regulations.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gaveled the meeting adjourned "on advice of security" shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday when a female staff member approached the dais and handed Pai a piece of paper. Armed security guards told attendees to leave bags and coats behind.

"On advice of security, we need to take a brief recess," Pai said. Visitors were cleared to return and the meeting resumed about 10 minutes later.

A proposal to kill 2015 net neutrality rules has attracted millions of comments and protesters were demonstrating in front of the building as the meeting got underway. FCC officials have said threats have been directed against Pai and his family.

The commission was meeting Thursday to consider sweeping aside rules barring broadband providers from favoring the internet traffic of websites willing to pay for speedier service. The Republican-led commission was to vote after Pai finished speaking about the proposal when the room was cleared.

If the measure passes, the FCC will give up most of its authority over broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. and hand enforcement to other agencies. The changes won’t take place for at least two months.

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