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How many of your neighbors care about net neutrality? Find out here

How many of your neighbors care about net neutrality? Find out here


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By T.C. Sottek and Ryan Mark

The FCC released all 1.1 million public comments about its proposed changes to net neutrality regulation this week, and our first look at the data found a lot of really mad people. Today we're taking a look at where most of those comments came from across the United States, in big cities and small ones.

But first, you can see how many of your neighbors commented. Use the map above to see which regions of the US commented the most, or the zip code lookup tool below to see a specific area in the United States.

Look up the number of comments submitted in your neighborhood

The big cities

So which US city was the loudest in the net neutrality debate? To get an answer, we looked at the most vocal neighborhoods in the country. More than 435,000 of respondents to the FCC provided their zip code, giving us a glimpse at which neighborhoods had the most to say. The hottest zip code by far was downtown Washington, DC, with one comment filed for every 22 residents. The hottest college town? That'd be the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities, which put Minnesota on the map.

1. Washington, DC

Downtown, Dupont Circle

2. San Francisco, CA

Embarcadero, South Beach, Eureka Valley, Bernal Heights

3. Chicago, IL

West Loop

4. Portland, OR

Downtown, Buckman, Sunnyside

5. Seattle, WA

Downtown, First Hill, Capitol Hill, Eastlake, Central District

6. New York, NY

Financial District, Civic Center, Chelsea, Midtown

7. Minneapolis, MN

Cedar-Riverside, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

8. Providence, RI

College Hill, Brown University

9. Berkeley, CA

South Berkeley, Berkeley Hills

10. Austin, TX


Data sampled from neighborhoods with at least 1,000 residents in cities with at least 100,000 residents. Total number of comments drawn from self-reported locations. Top neighborhoods based on ratio of comments to total population in a single zip code.

camp sherman store

Camp Sherman Store / Wikimedia

Honorable Mention

Zip Code 97730
Camp Sherman has a few hundred year-round residents, but according to Wikipedia it swells in the summer during camp season. When the kids were finished playing in the lake, going on nature hikes, and saving the planet, they sat down to submit 5 comments to the FCC on net neutrality.

Zip Code 10173
This New York City zip code takes up a single, small rectangular block of real estate. The 2010 census says that two people live here. And one of them submitted a comment to the FCC.

Zip Code 33122
This Miami, Florida locale is an exotic playground of industrial buildings and other corporate airport detritus. The 2010 US census says that just one person lives in this zip code, but 23 comments were reported from this area.

Zip Code 00950
Toa Baja is a small hamlet, about 30 minutes West of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The US government thinks about 9 people live here. They sent the FCC three comments.

Data and methodology note: all locations, including cities and zip codes, were self-reported by FCC commenters. We have no reason to believe this means a majority of the answers people gave the FCC are bogus, but there are some obvious oddities that have been omitted from the results. For instance, the third most vocal zip code in the US was 12345 — likely a common response from anonymous form trolls. (Sorry to all the good, net neutrality loving people from Schenectady, New York.) Population statistics for zip codes was pulled from the 2010 census. "Most vocal" zip codes were calculated according to the magnitude of comments in those locations, or in other words, the percent of the population that submitted comments to the FCC.