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FCC Net Neutrality Comments Top 20 Million

The FCC last week extended the deadline for comments from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30, but followers of the issue aren't waiting until the last minute to pile on additional comments.

A week ago the docket had 18.5 million comments. That number now stands at 20.350 million. The FCC does not keep such records, but it is certainly a record for number of comments on any single issue.

Not surprisingly the docket remains the busiest in the last 30 days, according to the FCC, with over 12 million in that time period alone. The next-busiest is the FCC's just-announced so-called Sec. 706 inquiry into whether advanced telecom is being employed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely manner, with 960 over the same period. That is the proceeding in which the FCC is asking, among other things, whether wireless broadband should be considered a substitute for, rather than an adjunct, to wired.

Related: Singer Proposes Net Neutrality Complaint Tribunal

The FCC, under new chairman Ajit Pai, has proposed reversing the Title II (common carrier) definition of internet access providers and reviewing the rules in the 2015 Open Internet order against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

The docket has drawn plenty of attention, including over form submissions, alleged DDoS attacks, and fake emails generated by fake email generators. Hill Democrats have called for investigations of the docket and the alleged attacks, and Pai has said the FCC is going to err on the side of inclusiveness, which means accepting some level of nuisance and mass-generated comments.

According to the FCC website, the top author names currently include none, n/a and the colorful "what the f--- did you just f------ say about..." (the FCC does not expurgate comments).

John Eggerton
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.