WASHINGTON -- Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin on Friday evening canceled next week's meeting at which the commission was scheduled to vote on a free Internet plan, after receiving a letter from key U.S. lawmakers asking him to hold off.
Sen. John Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.), and Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.), who will chair the Senate and House committees overseeing the FCC next year, earlier Friday sent a letter to Mr. Martin asking him to cease actions on controversial policy proposals.
Mr. Martin had proposed that the FCC vote Dec. 18 on rules for a sale of valuable airwaves that would have required the winning bidders to offer free Internet access to 95% of the country.
That item is opposed by the White House. Bush administration officials disapprove of spectrum auctions that impose conditions on the owners. Other critics have raised questions about whether the plan will work, noting that only one business thus far, M2Z Networks Inc., has offered a business model that includes free Internet.