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FCC net neutrality debate passes Janet Jackson's nip slip in total comments

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It's official: Americans care more about the internet's future than Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." If you add up the initial round of comments and ongoing responses, the FCC has now received over 1,477,301 public comments regarding Tom Wheeler's net neutrality proposal, according to Politico. That's enough to beat the previous (though very murky) record of 1.4 million; all of those comments were focused on the infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show incident involving Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and a nip slip. But that controversy was never part of any rule-making docket; so in that respect, the net neutrality fervor has no equal. The FCC is currently accepting replies to the initial wave of comments on net neutrality, with the public comment period scheduled to formally close on Monday. After that, the Commission will continue working on a new open internet framework meant to replace the rules shot down by a court in January.

Just today, many popular websites including Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Kickstarter, and others are calling attention to net neutrality through a "day of action." Tom Wheeler's proposal has been criticized for opening up the door to so-called internet fast lanes, which could allow ISPs to charge powerful companies with deep pockets for speedier access to consumers and leave other businesses at a disadvantage. Many prominent technology companies and lawmakers instead want to see broadband internet reclassified and put on equal footing with phone service and other common utilities, which are subject to more stringent rules.