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FCC Posts 1.5M Net Neutrality Comments Since Extending Deadline

The pace of filings in the FCC's network neutrality comment docket, dubbed "Restoring Internet Freedom" by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, is showing no signs of slowing down, with still plenty of people (or bulk email generators, some argue) still weighing in.

The FCC extended the comment deadline to Aug. 30 from Aug. 16. Since that Aug. 16 date, 1.5 million additional filings have been logged as of Aug. 24, making the current total 21,850,771, up from the 20,350,000 in the docket as of Aug. 16.

The FCC does not keep track of such records, but nobody is disputing that this volume is a record for the number of comments in any FCC docket.

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 FCC Chairman Ajit 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.

The FCC will continue accepting comments past Aug. 30, per custom, but only those that are filed before the deadline have to be included in the record on which the FCC makes its decision.

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.