Schwartzman: Denial is Shameful

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Monday, April 20, 2020

Press Release

Schwartzman: Denial is Shameful

On April 20, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission denied further extension of time for filing comments and reply comments on the Public Notice seeking to refresh the record in the above-captioned Restoring Internet Freedom and Lifeline proceedings. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Senior Counselor Andrew Jay Schwartzman:

The denial of this extension request is shameful.

Chairman Pai and the FCC staff don’t think that the pandemic is enough of an emergency to provide more time for first responders to file comments about how the Commission can ensure that first responders can serve the public in emergencies like pandemics.  

This decision is as inexplicable as the FCC’s prior failure in 2017 even to consider the needs of public safety in holding that broadband is not a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. There is a reason that the Court of Appeals told the Commission to address that obligation, and today’s action likely will not be viewed favorably at such time as it goes back to the Court.


The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.

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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
Executive Editor, Communications-related Headlines
Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
727 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
headlines AT benton DOT org

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