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FCC extends net neutrality comments deadline to Friday midnight

The agency will extend its public comments deadline to midnight Friday after it faced technical difficulties Tuesday.
By Ananth Baliga   |   July 15, 2014 at 3:19 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- A flood of net neutrality comments has led the Federal Communication Commission to extend its deadline for public opinion to Friday midnight.

The comments section was set to be closed midnight Tuesday, but after receiving a barrage of comments causing the website to face technical difficulties, the agency decided to extend the deadline. The FCC will now extend the deadline to midnight Friday giving people a chance to leave their comments on the agency's proposed net neutrality rules.

As of Monday night, the FCC had received 677,000 comments on its net neutrality rules that proposes creating fast and slow lanes based on commercial payments made to Internet providers. The rules provoked public outcry against what many called the end of a free Internet.

Thirteen senators penned a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking him to treat the Internet like a public utility and in turn preserve a free and open Internet.

"If the FCC allows big corporations to negotiate fast lane deals, the Internet will be sold to the highest bidder," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., who supported the letter.

This is not the first time the comments section of the FCC site has crashed. The site crashed when John Oliver, the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, asked Internet trolls to inundate the site with comments. Oliver was vehemently against the idea of converting the Internet into fast lanes and slow lanes.

Earlier Tuesday, 36 tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix, asked the FCC to ensure that the Internet remains open and free from censorship. The companies asked that the new rules be quashed as implementing them would stifle innovation and discourage entrepreneurs.

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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