The Federal Communications Commission on Friday extended the commenting period for its plan to dismantle the Obama-era "net neutrality" rule.
The process for allowing people to comment on the proposal has been extended from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30. Only after those comments are considered will the rule move toward being finalized.
Supporters of net neutrality had filed a motion for a longer comment period, specifically asking for an eight-week extension.
"While it is the policy of the commission that 'extensions shall not be routinely granted,' we find that an extension of the reply comment deadline is appropriate in this case in order to allow interested parties to respond to the record in this proceeding," Daniel Kahn, the FCC's chief of the competition policy division, wrote in Friday's order.
"We find that permitting interested parties an additional two weeks in which to file their reply comments will allow parties to provide the commission with more thorough comments, ensuring that the commission has a complete record on which to develop its decisions."
The Republican-controlled FCC proposal would undo the FCC's prior move to classify Internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast as an essential public utility, subject to FCC control. That was done in order to impose more stringent oversight of companies, to ensure they cannot block or inhibit access to certain types of web services from different providers, or create pay-to-play fast lanes for content.
Opponents of net neutrality argue the government's move to ensure an open Internet has actually had the opposite effect, by deterring investment from small broadband providers struggling to comply with the regulations, and undermining innovation.