Over half a million Americans have shared their feelings on net neutrality with the FCC as the commission ponders new rules that could drastically reshape the internet. Earlier this afternoon, Chairman Tom Wheeler reported that the FCC has so far received around 647,000 comments as the July 15th deadline for initial feedback approaches. The commission will then accept responses to those comments into the month of September. At best, a final decision on the controversial net neutrality proposal isn't expected until near the end of this year. "Keep your input coming," Wheeler tweeted today.
We’ve received about 647k #netneutrality comments so far. Keep your input coming -- 1st round of comments wraps up July 15.— Tom Wheeler (@TomWheelerFCC) July 11, 2014
Net neutrality advocates have voiced concerns about Wheeler's proposal for months now, mainly focusing on the FCC's willingness to let ISPs charge companies "commercially reasonable" rates to speed up consumer access to their services. Wheeler has routinely denied that the net neutrality rules would establish so-called "fast lanes" for companies with enough money to pay for them, but neutrality supporters still aren't receptive.
Instead, they're eager for the FCC to reclassify broadband providers under Title II, which would make them adhere to more stringent rules and, as Senator Chuck Schumer said today, "preserve the internet as an unfettered tool for communication and the sharing of ideas." Other comments pertaining to net neutrality haven't been quite so eloquent, but it's a topic that's hugely important for the public to weigh in on. If you haven't made your voice heard yet, do so before it's too late.