Comments Flood FCC's 'Restore Open Internet' Docket

The FCC may have been hit by a distributed denial of service attack, but that did not keep the "Restoring Internet Freedom" docket from exploding with comments.

At press time, the docket held over 500,000, up from about 30 thousand before John Oliver's call for Internet trolls and minions to flood the docket.

The FCC said this week it had suffered a DDoS attack not long after Oliver's show wrapped up Sunday night, but it has still been able to post that volume of comments.

But some of the most recent of those comments are comments in support of FCC Chairman Ajit PAi's plan to roll back Title II (common carrier) classification of ISPs and review the Open Internet order rules.

More than a dozen of the comments on the first page of the online docket all began the same way: "The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation. I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years. The plan currently under consideration at the FCC to repeal Obama's Title II power grab is a positive step forward and will help to promote a truly free and open internet for everyone."

AT press time the "technology" subreddit was filled with comments about that form complaint, saying it was obviously a "hired shillbot" and "obvious astroturfing.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.