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Deluge of net neutrality comments hits FCC website after Oliver rallies audience

Grant Gross | June 5, 2014
After a comedic video about net neutrality became a YouTube hit, more than 22,000 comments about proposed net neutrality rules flooded the website of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, and the traffic locked up the agency's Web-based comments form for parts of Monday and Tuesday.

The FCC received 22,200 comments on net neutrality on Monday and Tuesday, with the total also including weekend comments that are posted to the agency's site on Monday, said spokeswoman Kim Hart. Even with the FCC's comments form unavailable for some time this week, the agency continues to take net neutrality comments at the email address, openinternet@fcc.gov.

The agency has received more than 64,000 comments on net neutrality, with more than 45,000 in the last month.

Those numbers dwarf the number of comments the FCC has received in other open proceedings. The FCC has received fewer than 1,700 comments on Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and 200 comments on an enhanced 911 emergency dialing proposal.

The FCC's release of its proposed net neutrality rules on May 15 set off a 120-day comment period on the issue, with 60 days for initial comments and 60 days for replies to the first round of comments.

Among the recent comments to the FCC on net neutrality:

— "Please don't sell our country to the highest bidder by dividing our internet speed. Our internet MUST maintain its neutrality for all voices. Killing net neutrality would further a system of oligarchy in our country by creating monopolies on a public resource. It would be a tragedy if we cheated ourselves out of one of America's greatest gifts to the world."

— "Ending Net Neutrality would be a travesty. Please don't allow the telecommunication companies to fleece the American people."

— "If you start forcing companies to pay more for better access, then smaller companies are not going to be able to afford to compete with the big guys. The reason the internet is so vibrant and alive is that it has a level playing field."

— Internet providers should be regulated like other utilities and should not be allowed to offer faster download speeds to preferred customers. That is, download speeds should be the same for everyone. Your proposal to have a two-tiered system should be abandoned."

 

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