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Crushed by a stampede of petitioners, the FCC extends net neutrality comment period

Crushed by a flood of commenters, the FCC has extended the open comment period for their Open Internet proceedings until Friday. When we wrote about the importance of net neutrality back in May, the FCC had opened the door for open comment, and that window was due to close today. But after having been smashed yesterday and today by people like you registering their thoughts with the FCC about how best to address net neutrality, the FCC has extended that window to Friday.

You can submit your comments to the FCC at fcc.gov (if you can get it to load), or simply by emailing openinternet@fcc.gov

Source: FCC

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

55 Comments
  • How does net neutrality effect you really
  • It allows companies to pay to have their content delivered more smoothly (faster speed), thus crushing competing smaller and newer firms; relevant/most useful content might be buried by biased/advertising material due again to money paid or other corporate/personal interest. It allows internet service provider to charge you independently based on different websites you would like to vist (for example, $10/month for youtube, 20/month for netflix if you want smooth videos)...
  • I'm pretty sure it's exactly the opposite.
  • Either way someone is paying more for the same service (we won't know who just yet). So unless you have a personal stake in these service providers, keeping the cost on their side should only benefit the consumer.
  • I'm just pointing out that description is what is potentially practised today in the US, Net Neutrality is to change that. Whom it benefits is not of my business, I'm from Brazil, and here Net Neutrality is already federal law, for better or worse, I personally think it's good. Like the phone carriers system where you exchange freedom for a discount.
  • Exchange freedom for a discount?  I don't think so. Net neutrality sounds great on paper, but once any government has control over the Internet in any way, the conduit of free expression that we enjoy now will come to an end.  Perhaps not immediately, but definitely not long thereafter. They who abuse the system should have to pay without destroying the ultimate freedom the Internet offers to the rest of us.
  • I don't see where net neutrality gives control to anyone, it's about data package handling and not prioritizing some while neglecting others, but again, that's not of my business how the US reads it.
  • I'm not sure how this would be considered exchanging freedom. It promotes freedom of commerce and competition. Netflix wouldn't exist today had there not been net neutrality all along. The next YouTube cant outbid the current YouTube for preferential treatment on a network. We already pay for access based on the speeds that we choose. The providers just want to hold companies hostage and overcharge everyone.
  • You must not forget one important factor; Netflix takes up a huge amount of bandwidth, YouTube even more while other party's don't use much. How is that from a position of ISP? would be nice to have google not only profit from the isp, but also pay part of the data it uses. Don't forget that google, with youtube, is part of the reason the ISPs have to invest in a better infrastructure, and while that's nice, all consumers pay for that while google gets to use it for free. Now for your normal wired connection this may be relatively irrelevant or a minor issue, but consider mobile, where bandwidth is scarce and much more difficult to provide. I never watch a YouTube video. But my data and the entire plan is more expensive because I'm basically paying for a better infrastructure YouTube and its users want. That I don't use at all.
  • You pay the ISP for a certain bandwith, and so does Netflix and Google (maybe to another company) to be wired to the internet. The problem is that the ISPs sell a service expecting it to not be fully used. I think it's a basic risc assumed by them that the user will actually use it.
  • The idea that net neutrality gives governments control over the internet is laughable. Net neutrality ensures that the basic principles of a free market are maintained... that the customer decides what is in demand and that the customer gets what they pay for. That should not be fiddled with!
    Here's an analogy. Say you buy a book from amazon, and you pay for priority shipping. That means you are paying more to the post office for that book to get to your house the next day. What anti-neutrality folks are advocating for is that the post office should be allowed to ignore that you paid an extra fee and tell amazon priority shipping will only be respected if they pay something extra as well! After all, amazon has provided them with so much business they had to buy an extra truck. :-/
  • Its just like the early days of docsis
  • Enormously....are you kidding? Competition is what gives service providers incentive to improve. Monopolizing the market is bad for consumers
  • What has net neutrality got to do with competition and monpolisation? Net Neutrality is about forcing providers to treat all data equally. They should just be passing all 1s and 0s from point A to point B in the same manner.   Artifically slowing down some traffic, and then forcing content owners to pay to have it sped back up again or prioritised (as is rumoured to be the case right now) is wrong. IMO.
  • I think we don't need net neutrality, you have several bandwidth hogs and we pay the same fee. It should be like a Toll way to keep speeds up to par for everyone that pays. I shouldn't have to suffer slow connections because someone wants to stream video from every device in their house at once
  • ^^^this guy must work for Comcast.
  • Nah just an avg citizen that believes all citizens should pay for what they use
  • Ya I agree. Having my content choices controlled by my ISP sounds great. Even better if I like something that competes with their interests, I get to pay more. Yippee!
  • You are already paying for what you use! You pay the provider for access to the internet at a certain speed. If you don't watch a lot of HD video, you don't need a high speed connection and shouldn't own nor pay for that type of contract. If you are paying for it however, the ISP should be obligated to deliver data to you at that speed. The ISP shouldn't have the right to throttle websites for any reason, because you already paid for the service. Everywhere else in the world this is clearly understood. Only in the U.S. is this otherwise, thanks primarily to corporate lobbying dollars. Worst of all, such laws would eventually kill innovation on the internet in the U.S.
  • This has probably been the most sound argument I've heard when it comes to Net Neutrality. And this comes from someone living in Switzerland who <thinks> it's not even his business.
  • I'm fine the way it is now...Comcast for example is "unlimited" data but there is a hidden cap of 250gb per month. If you go over that you will get a warning, they will provide 3 warnings, then you are shut off. I like not to worry about data usage, It's one more little thing in life I DONT have to worry about. If I actually find myself using more than 250gb, something else is going on. I dont think providers should be able to monotor your usage or track what you do on your internet connection. Part of this bill includes this, If I want to use Netflix, or just game all month, I should be about to do this with out worrying about provider throttling data or any other limits.
  • Sorry I don't feel like paying extra just because you're complaining about my streaming video habits.
  • He can revive the dial-up revolution!
  • Oh God... dial up, teenagers these days haven't experienced this and I wonder what their reaction would be when they get stuck on the "ridiculously fast speeds" offerred by dial-up lol.
  • If we're going to do that then providers need to stop throttling and charge what it actually costs to provide the service (fractions of a cent per GB)
  • That's not how net neutrality works. There is no proposal in the works that would cause someone to pay more money based on the number of video streams they have going at once.  Under the FCC proposal, Comcast would get to charge Netflix for the privilege of operating at the same speed as every other website.  If Netflix doesn't pay, then everybody's Netflix connection sucks.  If Netflix does pay, then everybody's Netflix connection is great.  It doesn't matter whether you stream one video per month or six videos at at time, 24/7.  It's not a function of whether someone is a hog; it's a function of whether the website pays.  Suppose Netflix pays off Comcast, but Hulu doesn't.  If I stream 6 videos simultaneously from Netflix, 24/7, then I get great speed and quality.  If you watch one show per day on Hulu, you get crap quality.  It has nothing to do with our relative usage or whether one of us is a hog; it's simply a way for Comcast to extract more money for providing the same service.
  • ... Basic economics?
  • Yeah basic, if there's a heavy demand and not enough supply then the price goes up
  • Not basic economics. Data ransom. Pay us to continue delivering quality connections. That's it plain and simple. This has nothing to do with supply and demand. The infrastructure is already there to supply our demands based on our subscription to the ISP.
  • What basic economic principal besides monopoly exploitation, are you referring to?
  • Just that in particular.
  • Sounds like they're waiting on the bribe from Comcast to clear the bank
  • I think you nailed it.
  • Did you read the linked article above?  It's a longer read, but it explains the principles pretty cleanly.   If net neutrality goes away, it boils to preferential treatments for the biggest users.  The big companies get bigger, the smaller ones cannot complete, and ultimately the sutomers end up paying more all around.
  • Shut up with you bias crap.
  • Don't be butthurt. It's an important dialogue. Express your opinion in contrast...while you still can ;)
  • Give him credit for not being completely monosyllabic.
  • Absolutely I agree with you; that's why ISPs offer internet plans for your TOTAL usage.   However, that's not the point of contention.  Net neutrality doesn't care where it comes from.  You pay the same price if you get your gas from a BP or a Texaco or a Shell.  The problem comes from giving people preferential costs just because of who else buys that same gas.
  • Why does Wpcentral support this? Forcing new rules on the internet is a bad thing. It sets precedence for all sorts of other crap they will pass next including taxes.
  • Remember, once you give the providers an inch, a year later they will ask for a yard....This is a door that no one who likes their internet the way it should be opened...
  • The internet has existed for years without "net neutrality" and (in my opinion) developed pretty well. Regulators and special interest groups intent on increasing their power created a phantom specter, describing to the public a imagined future where only content from big money interests would be represented on the internet. Problem with this picture is that there are no rules regarding prioritizing content right now and there never has been. Yet somehow I manage to find a whole range of content representing a huge cross section of individuals and businesses. Some would of course argue that the technology for this sort of prioritization is only now reaching a point of commercial deployment. I find this argument unlikely but even if we accept it should we really gear up for an extensive change in the way the internet is regulated based on a fear of what might happen?
    Proponents of net neutrality have created a fake sense of urgency with this issue... I say can we not at least wait and see if this imagined specter comes to pass before we subject ourselves to a complex regulatory scheme which may have many unintended consequences?
    The arguments in favor of net neutrality are based on fear but I say at the very least we wait and see... Who know... Maybe prioritization of some traffic will be helpful. After all I don't care about latency while streaming video but I care very much while playing a game... Perhaps preferential treatment of some types of data can actually benefit the consumer. If net neutrality becomes law we will never know.
    Remember new laws can be made at any time... I would urge everyone to at least wait until there is a problem before trying to "fix" it.
  • Net neutrality is not a complicated set of regulations. It is a single and simple rule: treat all data equally! With this rule, the only person who decides how fast data reaches them is the customer, based on the contract they made with their ISP. A simple bandwidth test allows any customer to check if they are getting the service they payed for.
    Although Net Neutrality didn't exist formally, the internet has always operated under that simple rule. Writing that simple rule onto law doesn't over regulate anything. It's simply keeping things the way they are! Not doing so gives companies with virtual monopolies the power to regulate whatever they want, by taxing any web company they want for any amount they want. Over regulation is bad no matter who does it. Net Neutrality ensures companies large and small can continue to innovate and compete on a level playing field, and most importantly, keeps things simple and transparent for customers.
  • "Although Net Neutrality didn't exist formally, the internet has always operated under that simple rule. Writing that simple rule onto law doesn't over regulate anything. It's simply keeping things the way they are!" "Not doing so gives companies with virtual monopolies the power to regulate whatever they want, by taxing any web company they want for any amount they want." So, which is it? Either it's fine the way it is or there has always been a problem.
  • I'm not sure what you don't understand. There is no contradiction. Try this: Net Neutrality didn't exist formally, but the internet has always operated as if it did. That freedom and transparency is now under attack by coorporate interests. The only way to ensure those freedoms remain intact is by writing that simple rule into law. Not diong so would allow companies with virtual monopolies to regulate whatever they want, by taxing any company they want for any amount they want. Better?
  • Dude there is no need to get condescending. Repeating yourself still does not address the points myself and other have made... I will reiterate:
    1: "Corporate interest" literally ARE the internet. Every single function of the infrastructure that makes up the internet is create to make money by people that want to make money. It drives me nuts when people with only a passing understanding of the functioning of the internet get up on a soap box and act like the internet is some great utopia that somehow just sprang into being for the betterment of mankind and must be protected like a fragile rose from money grubbing corporate interests. Wake up and smell the coffee: The internet is created, operated and funded by those corporate interests you seem to so hate... Without them it would wither and die immediately.
    I'm not saying this is good or bad... It just is.
    2: We do not have any evidence that this negative scenario you are laying out will ACTUALLY occur. It could just as likely result in a positive outcome that improves everyone's service.
    3: If the negative portion of this scenario actually comes to pass we can make laws to correct it at that time.
    Finally: What do we have to lose by taking a wait and see approach? Is there any compelling reason to create new laws NOW rather than waiting to see if there is even a need for them?
    My concern is that poorly written regulation now may not fully address every possible negative impact on users or (more likely) it is written with too broad a brush resulting in inadvertently outlawing technologies that could actually be helpful. History has shown so far that the internet does pretty well in the absence of regulation... Amazingly well in fact. Why jeopardize that over a problem that may or may not ever occur?
  • By your own admission we do not currently have a huge problem (perhaps not even a problem at all) with unequal treatment of data. But unequal treatment of data MIGHT at some point result in a significant improvement in service quality if it is done intelligently in a way designed to relieve strain on the network and have little or no impact on the customer. All I'm saying is lets wait and see: We have a new type of technology that has to potential to help or to harm depending on how its deployed. Lets not respond with a fear based, knee jerk reaction to immediately ban its use. If in a few years we discover that prioritization of certain data is being used in an abusive way by ISPs there is absolutely nothing stopping use from implementing regulation at that time. We lose absolutely nothing by taking a wait and see approach and we stand to potentially gain something if this technology turns out to allow improved service.
    Especially when we consider that the internet seems to be an industry that has flourished in a relative absence of regulation... No need to change that paradigm in response to problem that *MIGHT* occur.
  • But unequal treatment of data MIGHT at some point result in a significant improvement in service quality if it is done intelligently in a way designed to relieve strain on the network and have little or no impact on the customer. In the U.S. we pay more money for less bandwidth than in almost any other first world nation. In Korea, netizens pay less money for ten times the bandwidth. Even compared to countries with higher average wages than the U.S. , internet price/performance ratio is poor. This is obviously not becasue U.S. ISPs are technically incompetent. Far from it. It's becasue they have virtual monopolies where they have no incentive to improve the customer's online experience. Their primary concern is increased profit potential. As such, they flat out refuse to invest in infrastructure projects beyond what is absolutely essential, all the while rolling in profits of 1 to 2 billion per quarter. If you believe these virtual monopolies have any interest in roling out any infrastructure to improve internet service beyond the bare minimum, in any way a customer might consider intelligent, then I have a bridge to sell you. Really, there is no reason for U.S. ISPs to lag so far behind the rest of the world in terms of price/performance ratio. If in a few years we discover that prioritization of certain data is being used in an abusive way by ISPs there is absolutely nothing stopping use from implementing regulation at that time. Then we have no reason to wait. We've already seen that. Comcast throttled Netflix's service during their spat and unthrottled it as soon as Netflix signed the contract. Comcast had the required infrastructure to serve Netflix streams at decent enough speeds all along. Most customers paid to be served at decent speeds, yet comcast decided "to hell with what consumers paid for, we're going to extort this money from Netflix first". That is abusive. It's no different from the Mafia asking for protection money, so they will protect you from themselves. This would be completely illegal if corporate lobbyists hadn't convinced congress that this is somehow innovation. All I'm saying is lets wait and see: We have a new type of technology that has to potential to help or to harm depending on how its deployed. Lets not respond with a fear based, knee jerk reaction to immediately ban its use. It's not a knee jerk reaction. Like I said, it's about protecting the transparancy and freedoms we already have! I agree with you that the U.S. needs to do something about the rediculous state of internet service in this country, but sacrificing Net Neutrality definatly isn't the solution. Abolishing goverment regulations that protect ISP monopolies and reintroducing real competition into the telecommunications market would be a much better approach.
  • You are GREATLY oversimplifying the reasons behind internet service being of lower quality in the US than a select few other countries. The primary reason by far is the size of the united states. And the low population density (it is generally more expensive and difficult to get high bandwidth connection at great distances from the ISPs facilities... And lower population density means that not only do American ISPs have to spend much more on infrastructure but that infrastructure will net them less customers. All thing considered its remarkable we have internet of the quality we have.
    Also you picked a select few counties with a overall high level of service per unit of cost. The united states ranks above MOST first world countries where data is often sold in chunk (vs the "all you can eat" scenario we normally have in the US).
    As for the Netflix vs Comcast argument: I have heard only here say from parties with a bone to pick with ISPs. I have yet to see any hard evidence that shows that there was some sort of conspiracy.
    Finally (again): Most people in major cities have a choice of more than one ISP (they could use cable, DSL, cellular network, or satellite).
    Would it have been a good thing if the government had not created geographic monopolies for cable and phone service providers? Yes very much so... But that ship has long since sailed and we have what we have... Could it be better? Yes of course. Do the ISPs have customers over a barrel? Hardly.
  • Why the need for regulation when abuse don't exist
  • HAve a look at this for a breakdown of Net Neutrality, I got the link from the signature of a5cent, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAxMyTwmu_M  
  • so wait a minute, the way to handle all these comments is to extend the period to make comments so that more comments will further clog the system? ah the FCC.
  • Thank you for posting this Derek. This is serious.
  • This is what Net Neutrality is trying to avoid... https://twitter.com/IceXPR/status/486323242274398208/photo/1
  • Loli should be able to watch porn at any time or any speed and whack off at any time I want.
  • The fiber belongs to the ISPs. They should be able to decide what to do with it. If they want to make a smarter internet by prioritizing certain traffic, let them! They built the fiber, and as customers, they are responsible to us. How would you like to build a great product that everyone depends on just to have "the people" decide what you can and cannot do with it. Hands off! Instead, we should be fostering more competition in the ISP area, not allowing Comcast to be the sole provider of region X by law. But of course making a federal law is much easier, right? Lets make an artificial world where everything is the way WE want it to be, regardless of the costs. What the heck do we know about what it takes to run an ISP?