FCC extends deadline for net neutrality responses

16 July 2014 | Kavit Majithia


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has pushed back a deadline for submitting comments on proposed internet traffic rules to July 18.

According to reports, a surge in internet traffic overwhelmed the FCC’s online filing system, with companies, consumer advocates, lawmakers and citizens submitting up to 680,000 comments on the agency’s net neutrality proposals as the deadline approached.
 
The agency is facing a backlash from the public on its proposed rules for how broadband companies can deal with traffic over their networks.

Tom Wheeler - the FCC’s chairman - wrote the most recent rules, and the proposals are designed to enforce the principle of net neutrality.
 
However, it also affords the right for content companies to strike deals with broadband providers, and neither side appears to be supportive of the plans.
 
FCC staff are now looking through the comments and sending summaries to Wheeler, with many of the comments reportedly coming from individuals and companies which rely heavily on the internet.
 
“We have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website which is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our electronic comment filing system,” said FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart.
 
The commission added that it is committed to ensuring all views on the matter are entered on the record.
 
Net Neutrality in the US continues to divide policy makers, telecoms companies, content players, and could become the most debated issue in FCC history.