AS reported by The Hill, The public filed over 20 million comments to the Federal Communications Commission over its plan to scrap the net neutrality rules.
The comments have hit a new record for the FCC. It is more than five times the number filed on the agency’s previous net neutrality proposal in 2015. The comments on that plan held the prior record with nearly 4 million filed.
Republican Chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom proposal would roll back the Obama-era internet rules aimed at preventing broadband providers like Verizon and AT&T from discriminating against certain types of web content.
Broadband companies have fought the rules, calling them too onerous and saying they discourage innovation. But consumer groups and web companies are fighting to save the rules, saying they create a level playing field on the internet.
More than 180 companies including Amazon, Twitter, Etsy, OkCupid, and Vimeo, along with advocacy groups such as the ACLU, Change.org, and Greenpeace, joined a major Wednesday 12 July 2017 protest to urge their users and followers to oppose changes to US rules which govern net neutrality.
Pro-net neutrality advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Access Now, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and congressional Democrats, have been pushing the FCC to extend the deadline for comments.
Last week, the agency decided to extend the filing deadline on net neutrality comments from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30.
Broadband interests like the NCTA, a trade association representing companies including Comcast, Charter and Cox Communications, opposed an extension, alleging that many of the comments have been fake.