After four months of debate, the FCC is nearly ready to stop accepting feedback on its proposal to kill net neutrality. Final comments are due this Wednesday, August 30th, by end-of-day Eastern time.
Once the comment period closes, the FCC will review the feedback it received and use it as guidance to revise its proposal, which if passed, would reverse the Title II classification that guaranteed net neutrality just two years ago.
The commission is supposed to factor in all of the feedback it received when writing its final draft, so if you do have strong feelings on the matter, it’s worth leaving a comment.
And clearly, this proceeding has struck a chord. There are currently almost 22 million filings on the proposal, setting a dramatic new record at the FCC. The last net neutrality proceeding set the prior FCC comment record at what at the time seemed like a whopping 3.7 million responses.
To leave a comment, you’ll have to go to this site, click “+ Express,” and then fill out the form it opens up to. Make sure you leave the proceeding number “17-108” in place, as that’s what ties it to the net neutrality proposal. Also, be aware that everything filed is public, so others will be able to see your name and address.
Despite the overwhelming number of comments, FCC leadership has made it clear that they won’t be swayed by sheer quantity of support on one side or the other. Over the past several months, commission chairman Ajit Pai has consistently said that what matters is the quality, not the quantity of the comments, saying that a well-argued legal brief is more valuable than, potentially, millions of people demanding basic protections.
It’s pretty clear this argument is being made so that the commission can eventually ignore millions and millions of comments from net neutrality supporters and go ahead with its plan to reverse Title II. But ultimately, more comments against the plan still makes matters harder, as the commission will very likely have to defend its changes in court.
Correction August 28th, 12:04PM ET: This article initially misstated the proceeding number as 17-801 instead of 17-108.