The first round of commenting on the issue was supposed to end on July 15, but it was extended to July 18 due to the FCC’s website crashing. There was such a huge number of last-minute comments around the 15th that many people couldn’t reach the website to make their opinion known. The three day extension was to allow those who tried to comment, but couldn’t to due to the crash. The FCC said that this latest extension was “to ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings.”
The FCC has already received over 1 million comments from the public on whether all businesses on the Internet should be treated equally when it comes to content delivery speed, or if businesses should be able to pay to have their information and content prioritized for delivery. The vast majority of the comments indicate people want all to be treated as equals, with many saying the FCC should treat Internet providers as common carrier utilities. Many have concerns with allowing broadband carriers to penalize the speed of traffic they deliver at their discretion.
The Writers Guild of America has also weighed into the conversation asking the FCC to hold public hearings on the net neutrality issue before making any rule changes. In a correspondence to the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler by Writers Guild president Michael Winship, he expressed the following sentiment,
“The time has now come for the commission to hold public hearings on the Open Internet rulemaking around the country. It is imperative that the FCC members travel beyond Washington, D.C., to hear for themselves the voices of the American people who insist upon an Internet kept available on an equal and democratic basis for all.”
Those who want to have their opinions known can submit them by emailing the to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the comment section on the FCC’s website under the title of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.
(Photo courtesy of Free Press)