Senators Call on FCC to Extend Net Neutrality Comment Period

FCC has received more than 15 million comments on its proposal, previous net neutrality proceedings provided 60 days for the reply comment period

 

Washington (August 3, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today led a group of 21 senators in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend the reply comment period for its proposal to undo the Open Internet Order and net neutrality protections. In 2015, the FCC adopted the Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband as a telecommunication service under Title II. The D.C. Circuit Court upheld the rules in its 2016. The FCC’s Open Internet Order prohibits internet service providers from setting up internet fast and slow lanes, ensuring all online traffic is treated the same.

“This proceeding has the potential to impact all Americans and as the expert agency, you should ensure that the Commission provides ample time to ensure all voices are heard,” write the senators in the letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

 

The following U.S. Senators have signed the letter: Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

 

Full text of the letter can be found below and a copy of the letter can be found HERE.

 

 

August 3, 2017

 

Dear Chairman Pai:

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received more than fifteen million comments on your proposal to undo the strong net neutrality protections put in place by the Open Internet Order.  This volume of comments underscores the tremendous interest the public has in this proceeding.  Given the unprecedented number of comments, we urge the FCC to extend the reply comment period to allow sufficient time for the public to ensure their views are reflected in the record.   

 

The FCC currently plans to allow just 30 days for reply comments.  Yet in 2014, during the previous net neutrality proceeding, the FCC provided 60 days for Americans to reply.  The FCC should follow its own precedent and extend the reply comment period to ensure the fullest spectrum of comments fills the docket in this historic rulemaking.  

 

This proceeding has the potential to impact all Americans and as the expert agency, you should ensure that the Commission provides ample time to ensure all voices are heard.  

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

 

Sincerely,