FCC Extends Deadline for Net Neutrality Reply Comments

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The Federal Communications Commission has added a few more days for interested parties to weigh in on the 1.1-plus million comments that have already been filed regarding the agency’s proposal for new net-neutrality rules governing Internet providers.

Previously, the FCC’s deadline for reply comments was Sept. 10; it has now moved the deadline to Monday, Sept. 15, adding three more business days to the sked, the agency said on Friday. The commission is then expected to establish net neutrality rules by the end of 2014.

SEE ALSO: Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality Surpass 1 Million

The hot-button topic of net neutrality has received tremendous public interest, and the FCC’s website was swamped earlier this summer after John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” opined that the agency’s proposed rules would break the Internet and urged viewers to tell the FCC what they thought.

With the surge in comments, the FCC had extended the deadline for initial comments from July 15 to July 18. The commission said it was extending the reply-comments deadline by three business days to correspond with that.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler outlined his proposal for new net neutrality rules this spring — and promptly received a barrage of criticism over the plan’s provision for letting ISPs charge content companies for higher-bandwidth connections as long as they were “commercially reasonable.” Wheeler subsequently revised some of the language in the proposal to spell out that the FCC would closely examine any paid-prioritization deals, also solicited input on whether paid prioritization should be banned outright.

Earlier this month, the FCC made the initial set of comments available to the public via six XML files, totaling over 1.4 gigabytes of data — roughly 2.5 times the amount of plain-text data in the Encyclopedia Britannica, according to the agency.

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