The United States Federal Communication Commission or the FCC has on Friday extended the deadline to accept public comments to September 15 on its new net neutrality rules. It will give the American public more time to weigh in on how the internet traffic should be regulated.
FCC online comment system is old and archaic. The site received very heavy traffic. Comedian John Oliver capped a 13-minute segment about Net neutrality. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has appealed to Congress to increase the funding of the agency so that it can add more staff and also upgrade its old and sagging information technology systems.
FCC has already received more than 1 million comments about new rules which seeks to define how intermit service providers should be allowed to manage web traffic on their networks. FCC had first set the deadline on July 15 for the comments followed by September 10 for replies for these comments. However the deluge of comments literally overwhelmed FCC website forcing the agency to delay the first deadline by 3 business days.
The latest proposal was spearheaded by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler which seeks to once aging regulate the way internet traffic are treated by Internet Service providers. The previous FCC open internet rule was rejected by the federal appeals court in January. The latest measure has lead to protests by consumer advocates who feel that it is biased to serve the interests of big broadband companies by allowing so-called fast lanes for priority traffic on the Internet.
Chairman Wheeler said in his testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations said, “We have more than 200 relics IT systems that are costing the agency more to service than they would to replace over the long term. We must overhaul, upgrade, secure and replace IT systems that are antiquated relics – costly to maintain and harmful to agency productivity.”
Till yesterday night, the FCC had received more than 677,000 comments on the proposal. Today, the agency said that number has topped more than 780,000 comments.