FCC extends net neutrality deadline due to online commenting difficulties

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. (AP Photo)

By{ } Katy Bachman and Brooks Boliek of ABC7's news partner POLITICO

WASHINGTON (POLITICO) - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is extending the deadline for initial public comments on Chairman Tom Wheeler's controversial net neutrality proposal because of trouble with the commission's online comment system, the agency announced Tuesday. The deadline was set for midnight.

FCC officials hope that the extension, until Friday at midnight, will give people who have had problems filing online the ability to have their voices heard. Wheeler's proposal has sparked a firestorm for allowing Internet-service providers such as AT&T and Verizon to charge companies for a fast lane to deliver content.

"Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing System," said FCC press secretary Kim Hart. "Please be assured that the commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record."

As of late Monday, there were 677,000 comments filed in the proceeding. Wheeler has said he'd like the commission to make a decision by the end of the year.