FCC Waives Sunshine Period For Internet Openness Blog

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The Federal Communications Commission has waived its prohibition on outside (ex parte) contacts with the commissioners on the issue of network neutrality in the seven days before it is to take up that issue in its public meeting Oct. 22, so long as the contacts are via its new openinternet.gov blog.

"The Commission waives the Sunshine Period Prohibition on ex parte contacts with the Commission to the extent that those contacts are made through the Open Internet Blog [http://blog.openinternet.gov]," the comission said in a revised notice Friday.

The reason, according to the commisison, is that those contacts "take place in a forum that is both instantaneously available to all interested parties and will not intrude on the Commission's decision making."

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski plans to introduce a proposal to expand and codify the commission's open access principles. This week, the agency launched the blog, though saying its comments would not be made a part of the official record until at least after the meeting.