Back in mid-August, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended the open comments period for its proposed changes to net neutrality from August 16 until August 30. Advocates and activists had initially requested a month-long extension, but they got the two weeks. So let’s make good use of them!
FCC Chair Ajit Pai has proposed ending or reinterpreting the Title II classification of broadband internet services as “telecommunications services” and returning them to being “information services” – so that he can gut net neutrality rules. Back in 2002, the FCC initially classified broadband internet as “information services,” and the results were terrible for consumers. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) summarized, “the rules that we need to preserve the open internet — such as forbidding discrimination against certain applications — require the FCC to treat access providers like ‘common carriers,’ treatment that can only be applied to telecommunications services.”
The American people fought back, and in 2014 and 2015, citizens successfully pushed for the creation of net neutrality rules and the Title II reclassification of broadband internet as a “telecommunications service.” They sent more than 3.7. million comments to the FCC during that campaign. This year, FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s proposal to end those protections already has more than 18 million comments, making it the most-commented-on item in the commission’s 83-year history.
If you’re already on of those 18 million respondents, thank you. And if you thought you missed your chance to be part of something historic, now’s your chance to participate!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has made it easy to send a comment to the FCC with their Dear FCC tool, and so has Battle for the Net. As it says at the links, please keep in mind that these comments will be publicly searchable – so nothing you wouldn’t want your grandma or your future political opponents seeing.
(Via Ars Technica, The Verge and The Electronic Frontier Foundation; image via jeremy brooks on flickr)
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