Broadband Roundup: Comcast Seeks Lighter Regulation on Net Neutrality, Mozilla and CCIA Want Heavier Touch

Broadband Roundup, FCC, House of Representatives, Net Neutrality July 16th, 2014

, Reporter, Broadband Breakfast News

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 – Due to an “overwhelming surge in traffic to its website,” the Federal Communications Commission delayed its deadline for comment submissions on net neutrality until midnight Friday, Forbes reported.

As of Wednesday, the FCC had received 780,000 comments, thus far. The traffic was enough to crash the site earlier in the week. Comments can be submitted here.

An FCC spokesman said, according to the National Journal, that the site might not have had any issues if Congress provided additional funding to upgrade its information-technology systems. The House of Representatives, however, is voting on an appropriations bill that would cut the FCC’s budget by $17 million. President Obama threatened to veto the bill.

Among the comments received by the FCC, several key tech giant have spoken out. Comcast urged the FCC in its 71-page filing to adopt net neutrality rules under Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and that they should apply to wireless providers, too.

The broadband provider is less enthusiastic about Title II public utility regulation, as Executive Vice President David Cohen expressed in a blog post Tuesday. Reclassification would result in needless litigation and “retard” investment and innovation in the broadband industry.

The open sources software company Mozilla, however, wants Title II reclassification. It said in its own comments that Title II is “essential to the maintenance of the ‘virtuous cycle’ of innovation and investment that powers communications on the Internet today.”

Tech lobbying group Computer and Communications Industry Association echoed this view, calling for “careful, targeted rules” to make sure a “powerful few private sector interests” don’t rule consumers.

In other news, The House of Representatives passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act this week, according to PC World, banning federal, state and local taxation of internet access and internet-specific services like email or bandwidth.

The bill has moved to the Senate, where a separate online sales tax is brewing up.

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