Now’s Your Chance to Weigh In on Net Neutrality

Photo by Anna Tamila / Shutterstock.com

A Federal Communications Commission proposal to effectively wipe out Obama-era net neutrality rules is now open for public comment.

As of this writing, the FCC has received nearly 2.6 million comments on its proposal. But according to The Hill, comments submitted by Americans “during the ‘sunshine’ period — from the week leading up to the [May 18] vote to the day the proposal was released [May 23],” will not be included in the record.

The 2015 net neutrality rules classified broadband internet service as a public utility. The regulations aimed to prevent the internet from becoming “pay to play,” with internet service providers (ISPs) charging big bucks for companies to secure a spot in the fast lane. Those who can’t or don’t want to pay would end up in the slow lane. Read more about why “Why Net Neutrality Is Important.”

Here’s how you can comment on the FCC’s proposal:

  • Go to the FCC’s page for filings related to its proposal for “Restoring Internet Freedom.”
  • Click on “+ Express” on the left side of the page (under Filters) and you’ll be taken to a comment document. Make sure “17-108” appears in the “proceedings” box so your comment is linked to the correct proposal.
  • Fill out the rest of the comment form, including your full name and address, but be aware that the information you share is publicly posted on the FCC’s website after you click submit.
  • The first round of public comments must be received by the FCC by July 17. A second commenting period will be open until Aug. 16.

It appears the FCC more heavily considers the quality — not the quantity — of comments it receives. According to The Verge, during a call with reporters in April, a senior FCC official said:

“The comments process does not function as the equivalent of a public opinion survey or poll, and what matters if the quality of the argumentation presented, the facts that are entered into the record, the legal arguments that are placed into the record. It’s not a counting procedure where you decide which side has placed more comments into the record and that side wins. That is not the way the Administrative Procedure Act works.”

For more on the topic, check out “What Trump’s New Man at the FCC Means for Net Neutrality and Your Cell Bill.”

Do you support or oppose net neutrality? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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