House E&C Dems Seek Hearing on FCC Web Issues

A quartet of House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats led by ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) have called on the Republican majority to hold a hearing on FCC web site "failures."

The FCC said last week it was hit by a DDoS attack that affected comments, including in the net neutrality docket, while more recently there have been accusations that some mass filings were attributed to people who say they did not file them.

“We have serious concerns that the FCC’s website failures deprive members of the public of opportunities to make their voices heard on net neutrality – an issue that affects everyone who uses the internet,” Pallone said, joined by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee ranking member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Communications Subcommittee ranking member Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).  “It is critical for the FCC to be able to facilitate public participation in open rulemaking proceedings.”

They also want FCC CTO David Bray, who announced the DDoS attack last week, to testify at the hearing.

They want answers to the following:

     1. "What is the FCC doing to address this situation and to monitor developments?

     2. "How many visitors is the FCC’s comment-filing website designed to accommodate at the same time?

     3. "How many visitors were unable to access the FCC’s website and file comments during the time the system experienced a “high amount of traffic?”

     4. "Does the FCC have sufficient resources to keep its servers online during high-profile proceedings?

     5. "Is the FCC making alternative ways available for members of the public to file comments in the net neutrality proceeding?

     6. "How did the FCC determine that it experienced denial-of-service attacks?

     7. "What measures is the FCC currently taking to protect its website from denial-of-service attacks?"

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.