The FCC Gets Slammed With More Than 1 Million Comments About Net Neutrality
Companies should not be able to pay Internet service providers so that their sites reach users faster. That’s the general consensus of the 1,067,779 comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission before the initial comment period of the open Internet proceeding came to a close on Friday.
Issue-related comments on the government agency’s site rarely surpass 100, but a proposal that could threaten Internet equality has united many Americans and prompted them to speak out. Even former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver took up the issue. Oliver’s 13-minute rant about net neutrality on his HBO show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver inspired so many people to comment on the FCC website that the government entity announced on Twitter that it was having “technical difficulties.”
“I urge you to maintain net neutrality and not give into the forces of big money, special interests, and self-interested partisanship,” commenter Gregory Robe, a retired captain of the United States Air Force Reserve, wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “I depend on free access to information that could be blocked if you change the rules.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet rights advocacy group, recently spoke out in defense of net neutrality as well.
“[The FCC’s] practices pose a dire threat to the engine of innovation that has allowed hackers, companies, and kids in their college dorm rooms to make the Internet that we know and love today,” staffer April Glaser wrote on the EFF’s website.
FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield said in a statement that the agency would make sure to account for all submitted opinions, according to the blog E Pluribus Unum. Users now can reply to submitted comments on the FCC website through Sept. 10. After that date, the agency will make a decision about whether it will regulate the way Internet service providers manage Web traffic.