FCC Racks Up 22 Million Comments Criticizing Move to Gut Net Neutrality

Posted September 04, 2017

The docket on the "Restoring Internet Freedom" plan from commission Chairman Ajit Pai closed with more than 21.8 million comments in total-though some have suggested numerous comments aren't from engaged citizens but rather from bots and automated services.

Obviously, certain large telecoms companies are all in favor of gutting the Obama-era rules.

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Apple finally has something to say about net neutrality. The bottom line is that it supports strong, enforcable net neutrality laws like the ones in force today.

That's a shot across the bow of Pai. The businesses warn policymakers that, "While big companies might be able to afford a pay-to-play prioritized "fast lane" to users, small and medium sized enterprises like ours can not".

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It also touched on one other topic that's relevant to the FCC, but often not part of the net neutrality conversation. The letter, filed with the FCC by the American Sustainable Business Council, warns that "weakening or rolling back the 2015 protections would be disastrous for the country's business community" who for decades have relied on open access to the open Internet to do business. "The internet is not, and never has been, "neutral" in the traffic flows that affect how customers experience the services offered by different edge providers", AT&T wrote. "We work hard to build great products, and what consumers do with those tools is up to them - not Apple, and not broadband providers". "Absent a meaningful choice of providers, consumers can not make their voices heard through their market choices". But even with the fate of the open internet at stake, Pai's proposal might sail through without a huge public fight. For providers to be punished for abusing customers, customers have to be able to switch away - which they definitely can't right now.

Hours before the deadline, the FCC had received 22 million comments critical of its vote in May to crimp net neutrality-the idea of preventing such internet service providers from slowing down or blocking access to websites or subjecting sites and/or applications to extra fees in order to reach the internet audience.

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