Yesterday was supposed to be the end of the first round of public comments on the upcoming network neutrality rules. Due to the massive number of comments submitted, the FCC’s website was not able to handle the surge of last minute comments. As of Tuesday, there were about nearly 800,000 comments and counting.
Because of the FCC site going down, the deadline for the first round of comments has been extended to Friday.The FCC has stated that they will field another round of public input in September before the rules get finalized.
Even with such a high number of overall comments, this is not the most engagement that the FCC has ever received about a topic. After Janet Jackson’s nipple view during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004, the FCC received 1.4 million messages from the public, though the FCC classified most of those messages as complaints rather than comments.
As the New York Times noted, a brief overview of the comments can see a heavy tilt towards urging the FCC to take strong action to preserve net neutrality:
- “Net neutrality is crucial to fair competition and free speech,” Maya Cook wrote, “and this proposal is a disaster in the making.”
- “Any regulation that would allow soulless, noncitizen corporations to monetarily benefit at the expense of lawful citizens whom the government serves should not be enacted,” Michael W. Derington wrote.
- “Your proposed path would open the door to widespread discrimination online. It would give Internet service providers the green light to implement pay-for-priority schemes that would be a disaster for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls.”
The FCC is expected to make a decision on the new rules by the end of 2014 or early 2015.