Dem Leaders Seek Extension of Net Neutrality Comment Period

Cite FCC web issues this week as one reason

Democratic leaders of the House Energy & Commerce Committee have asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to extend the comment period on the Title II rollback proposal he plans to vote May 18.

That came in a letter to Pai and the other commissioners.

Related: Senate Democrats Vow to Fight for Open Internet Order on All Fronts.

Branding the vote a proposal to "gut" Internet protections, Rep. Frank Pallone (N.J.) and Mike Doyle (Pa.), ranking members of the full committee and Communications Subcommittee, respectively, said the FCC should add another month at least to the comment period given the "importance of developing a comprehensive record."

They also pointed to the FCC's Web problems this week--FCC CIO Dr. David Bray said a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack "made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC." The senators suggested that made it "impossible for the public to submit comments during that time," another reason to extend the comment period. 

Comments are currently due July 17 and replies are due Aug. 16, although the FCC traditionally continues to accept comments even after those deadlines.

They said the August timing means that "small business owners, students, Internet users and workers are away."