When John Oliver’s rant on Net Neutrality went viral, it led to a crashing of the FCC website due to a flood of people racing to leave a public comment on the issue of an open internet. As of June 5, there were more than 49,000 public comments on the proceeding, all of which are available to the public for reading and to the FCC for using when making their decisions. Unfortunately, it seems most of the comments are less about actually contributing to the issue and more about doing what John Oliver says to do. Many of the public comments are crass and unhelpful, and some of them confuse the issue by demanding “an end to net neutrality in order to protect the Internet.” We feel that it’s important to have your voice heard on the issue, but we also want your voice to be above just shouting. Net neutrality is something we are very eager to protect, and the best way you can make a difference on the issue is by submitting your public comment on the FCC proceeding. Here’s how you can do it:
How to leave a public comment on the FCC website regarding Net Neutrality
Click on Proceeding #14-28: “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet”
(Side note – any FCC proceeding is open to public comment. If you have something you’d like to say regarding the potential merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, this is where you’d find that link as well.)
Fill out the form, including your comments, and click “Continue”
Review your submission, then click the “Confirm” link. If you wish to go back and rewrite something, click “Modify Your Submission.”
NOTE: All of the provided information will be made available publicly when your comment is published.
Don’t know what to say, but know you want to make a statement?
Here’s one reasonably strong statement that you can use as a starting point:
“I believe in the concept of Net Neutrality as put in place and that with limited exceptions, all content of the same type should be treated equally without discrimination. Allowing network providers to prioritize content on a fee basis is a slippery slope and I believe that it is much more likely that innovation will be stifled.”
Oliver’s rant was both informative and funny (albeit not very appropriate), but a tone of indiscriminate rage will only further divide and cloud any chance at real progress. In order to best contribute to the protection of net neutrality, we all need to take a deep breath, learn about the issue, and respectfully make our voices heard. This is a complex subject and we admit is isn’t simply a black and white issue. We will revisit this issue in the coming weeks and share where it does make sense for network providers to provide a level of intelligence when it comes to allowing traffic across the Internet (for instance, almost all of us agree that systems that identify and block spam from reaching our inbox is a good thing).
P.S.: Do note that the initial comment period on this topic will close on July 14. It will then be followed by a second 60-day period for replies.