Nobody is Neutral about Net Neutrality
Citing an overwhelming influx of commenters crashing its website Tuesday, the FCC extended the deadline for public comment on Open Internet until Friday at midnight. The proposal under discussion would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to charge extra for “Hot Lanes”–speedier access to the Internet. Opponents consider equal Internet speeds the right of every citizen, right up there with the pursuit of happiness. The proposal has drawn over 670,000 comments, both through the Open Internet email ([email protected]) and on the FCC website. Twice already in the 60-day period for open comment the FCC website has crashed, unable to support the volume of free speech thrown at it. Yesterday, as the original deadline approached, the website was stymied by an influx of comments trying to get in the last word.
The website last crashed after a hilarious call to action by comedian John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Oliver called for “Internet trolls” to bombard the site with net neutrality comments. After the “trolling” event, the FCC “implemented an additional caching feature on June 3 to support some of the highest concurrent commenting levels that government’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) has seen in its 17-plus year history,” FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray wrote on the official FCC blog. As comedic as Oliver’s call to action was, his point stands: this is one of the most important issues of our day, one that could dramatically change how people interact and do business on the Internet. There is still time to say your piece.