The FCC net neutrality hearing came to an abrupt pause when chairman Ajit Pai was handed a note by a member of the Federal Protective Service, and promptly announced the room needed to be evacuated for a “brief recess.” Police examined the room before attendees were allowed back in, thereby allowing the remarks portion of the proceedings to continue. It was only after the unexpected break that the vote on net neutrality was able to take place.
The live stream of the hearing showed someone handing a note to Pai before he told everyone in attendance, “On advice of security, we need to take a brief recess.” As people stood up and filed to the exit, someone off camera could be heard telling evacuees, “I need everyone to leave everything that you have in place. Do not take anything out of here except for your body.” Reporters were separated from attendees in a hallway, while everyone else went out the back door.
It only took police a few minutes to sweep the room and check it with K-9 units before the all clear was given. Once everyone was back in place, Pai resumed. “Sorry for the interruption,” he said. “We were acting on the recommendation of the Federal Protective Service. But we can now reconvene.” In his final remarks, Paj again asserted his position on appealing the net neutrality regulations, which the five-person panel ultimately did.