Congress consents to roll the NBP deadline back from February 17 to March 17.

Maybe now the FCC will look at requests for extensions of deadlines more sympathetically.

The Commission has been working at breakneck speed for months in an effort to meet the February 17 deadline which Congress imposed for the delivery of the National Broadband Plan. It’s a huge undertaking, as our readers have probably figured out from our efforts to chronicle the FCC’s myriad inquiries, notices, etc.

But despite an “all hands on deck” total immersion approach involving pretty much every warm body on the Commission’s staff, it became apparent to the FCC higher-ups that they won’t be able to make the February 17 deadline. Since that deadline was set by Congress, the FCC couldn’t just ignore it. Rather, the Commission had to ask for an extension from the Senate and House Commerce Committees – just like so many of us have to ask the FCC for extensions every now and then. So Chairman Genachowski went to Congress and asked for four more weeks.

At least one published report indicates that, fortunately for the Commission, Congress was feeling charitable: word is that the NBP deadline has officially been shifted four weeks, to March 17.