Citing the massive public record gathered by the FCC on the national broadband plan and the corresponding onerous burden on agency staffers who must fully digest that record, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asked leaders of the House and Senate commerce committees for permission to delay the release of the broadband plan by one month. As set forth in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the FCC is required to submit the national broadband plan on February 17. In letters delivered on Wednesday to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), ranking minority member Joe Barton (R-TX), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and ranking minority member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Genachowski said the FCC was requesting additional time “in the interest of advancing a national broadband plan that reflects the extraordinary importance of the task and that is responsive to the unprecedented record developed during the comment and workshop period.” Describing the broadband plan proceeding as “unprecedented,” Genachowski argued that a 30-day postponement of the submission deadline to March 17 “will enable the FCC to obtain input from stakeholders and more fully brief commissioners and the House and Senate committees on aspects of the plan as it comes together.” Reaction to the proposed extension was generally supportive. Although FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said he was disappointed that the FCC will not meet the original February 17 deadline, FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker voiced hope that “the extra time, while not ideal, will result in a thorough and actionable plan.”