FCC Net Neutrality Comments Due By Nov. 4

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All sides of the network neutrality debate will have until Nov. 4 to weigh in on how or whether the Federal Communications Commission should apply openness principles to wireless broadband and specialized services that travel over the "last mile" of Internet access but are separate from the public Internet.

The FCC's request for further comment was published in the Federal Register Friday, which starts the clock on its comment period.

Initial comments will be due Oct. 12, with replies due Nov. 4. The comments are follow-up input on the agency's proposal to expand and codify its Internet openness principles.

The commission has said there is "narrowing" disagreement on its four Internet openness guidelines, and two additional ones on transparency and nondiscrimination. But it said two sticking points are the specialized service and wireless issues. Industry players are meeting to try to come up with compromise legislative language that would clarify the FCC's authority to oversee Internet openness.

They became hot topics of conversation after vet net neutrality proponent Google and network Verizon agreed that specialized services should be allowed and wireless broadband exempted from all but the transparency principles, given wireless' different network management characteristics and challenges like spectrum limitations and more unpredictable loads.

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