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August 29, 2014

No Relief Amid Many Proceedings as Muni Broadband Comment Extension Denied

  Washington Internet Daily

No relief is coming to communications attorneys who say they've been working longer hours and during vacations and have had to back off on weighing in on some FCC issues because of the torrent of proceedings there. The Wireline Bureau in Thursday's Daily Digest denied a request from TechFreedom (WID Aug 22 p8) and others for a one-month extension to comment on two petitions on pre-empting state municipal broadband laws. That day, the Media Bureau denied nonprofits' requests to delay the comment deadline on AT&T's plan to buy DirecTV.

TechFreedom President Berin Szoka had cited a crunch of comment periods scheduled to close between this week and the middle of September, including those on Comcast's plan to buy Time Warner Cable, AT&T/DirecTV, the net neutrality NPRM and a broadband deployment notice of inquiry.

The comment period for the petitions filed by Wilson, North Carolina, and the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to pre-empt the state laws will still close Friday night. (See separate report below in this issue.)

Extensions are not routinely granted, the Wireline Bureau said ( "Overlapping comment cycles are not unusual given the press of Commission business, and the schedule established in these proceedings affords significant time for public participation." TechFreedom is right that the proceedings are important, but that only indicates how an extension would "not be harmless," said the order dated Wednesday. Also seeking the delay were the American Enterprise Institute, Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, Citizens Against Government Waste, Digital Library, Institute for Policy Innovation, International Center for Law & Economics, Madery Bridge and NetCompetition.

Visit Washington Internet Daily to read the full article. 

-- Kery Murakami (


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