It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen: The Vast Majority Of FCC Commenters Support Net Neutrality

from the the-will-of-the-@#!$-public dept

The vast majority of consumers (from both parties) support net neutrality. This has been supported repeatedly not only by independent polls, but even the cable industry’s own surveys.

Yet for most of the last decade, ISP lobbyists and think tankers have managed to frame the subject in the media as a partisan one — quite successfully using the country’s deep political divisions to fuel disagreement and stall real progress. In reality, our collective disdain for growing monopolies like Comcast (and the high prices and abysmal customer service that result) tends to burn through partisan myopia. As a result, most people realize that in the absence of real competition you need some basic rules of the road to protect consumers and Comcast competitors alike.

That’s why, when the FCC passed relatively basic net neutrality protections in 2015, the vast majority of the record 4 million public comments filed with the FCC supported the creation of these rules. And again, data analysis of the comments filed so far show massive opposition to dismantling those same rules. Data scientist Jeffrey Fossett managed to dig through the more than 1.5 million comments filed with the FCC so far and found that — once you exclude form letter submissions (in common use by both sides), 97% of the remaining comments support keeping the rules intact:

We recently discussed how some unidentified group or individual isn’t happy with the fact that the rules have broad support, and has begun using a bot to stuff the comment section with entirely fake net neutrality opposition. According to Fossett’s analysis, a whopping 40% of the 1.5 million comments are courtesy of this bot, which appears to just have pulled names from a hacked database somewhere to craft its phony opposition. You can leave it up to your imagination as to which groups, companies or individuals might benefit by such a massive fabrication, but Fossett makes the impact obvious:

At the moment, the FCC has frozen all public comments for what’s known as a “sunshine period,” a bit of bureaucratic prattle during which the FCC is supposed to avoid being lobbied and seriously reflect upon all of the input they’ve received so far. And Fossett suggests that the FCC may just want to actually listen to what the public (the non-bots among us, anyway) are telling them:

“The FCC has now entered a ?Sunshine? period for docket 17-108, during which it will not consider new comments. Given the magnitude of filings (~695,000 if you exclude the anti-NN spam) and the balance of opinion expressed (97% in favor of net neutrality or 59% if you include the spam), this analysis suggests that the FCC should reconsider its position on net neutrality during this period of reflection.”

While FCC boss Ajit Pai has breathlessly claimed he’ll be reflecting very deeply on the public’s input, there’s every indication he intends to ignore the public and push forward with dismantling the rules anyway. In fact, instead of seriously contemplating the public’s support for the rules, the FCC spent a large amount of the sunshine period trying to portray net neutrality supporters as unhinged, unreasonable and racist. And when the FCC votes on Thursday to begin rolling back the rules (with a final killing vote likely later this year), you can be damn sure that Pai will lecture everyone on how he’s gutting oversight of some of the least competitive and least liked companies in America — for the immense benefit of the American people.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen: The Vast Majority Of FCC Commenters Support Net Neutrality”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guy (profile) says:

Not 'if', merely 'when' and 'how'

And when the FCC votes on Thursday to begin rolling back the rules (with a final killing vote likely later this year), you can be damn sure that Pai will lecture everyone on how he’s gutting oversight of some of the least competitive and least liked companies in America — for the immense benefit of the American people.

Given he took time during the ‘reflection’ period, a time when the FCC was supposedly to be considering what the public wanted to mock the majority of the public that disagrees with him, yeah, I’d say it’s pretty much a given that he’ll completely ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of people that sent in comments were against gutting the rules, with the only unknown being what pathetic and transparent excuse will be thrown out to try and defend their actions.

The fact that he lies again, and again, and again about how he’s doing all this ‘for the public‘ is disgusting enough, the least he could do is to put some effort into his lies, try not to be so blatantly a tool of the industry he’s supposed to be keeping in check, but I suppose once a tool of Verizon and company always a tool for Verizon and company.

Of course it doesn’t help that having his planned changes crash and burn in court when he does completely ignore the public could very well be seen as a ‘strategic defeat’ by him and the companies he’s so eagerly serving.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not 'if', merely 'when' and 'how'

A: “Obamacare”, in addition to not actually originally being a Democratic idea (and not being the left’s preferred approach in any case), isn’t actually that bad – or at least wouldn’t be if it were being properly supported and tweaked at the federal level, rather than being undermined and having any attempts at tweaking it in ways which would make it work better blocked by people who want it to fail.

B: “Obamacare for the internet” isn’t even a remotely close comparison. Obamacare is a sizable bureaucratic establishment, with lots of details, moving parts, and funding or other budgetary requirements, which directly touches everyone due to its individual mandate; rules requiring that the network be neutral are (or can be) relatively simple and straightforward, with zero bureaucracy or even funding required unless the few people who are directly affected by them (all of whom work for ISPs) try to flout the rules.

(C: The use of “Democrat” as an adjective, in contexts where it isn’t short for “member of the Democratic Party”, is a red-flag indication that the speaker has a distinct right-wing bias.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

It’s cute that you simultaneously believe that a free market is 100% full of evil people but a regulatory one is 100% free of evil people.

To be clear, regulation will not save you from this. Never has, and never will. The only thing regulation does is consolidate power into a smaller surface area, increase corruption that already exists, and reduces your say in things.

Yes there are obviously monopoly and anti-trust issues in a free-market… you are just a fool to believe that regulation is a solution to those problems.

In order to have regulation, you require the presence of a “regulatory body” or agency of some kind to manage it. THAT agency is the root of the problem. You can call it regulation or blue moon howling operations, but at the end of the day, when you trade your own essential liberty for a little temporary safety from “big bad business” you get either that safety or liberty and you also deserve neither!

This problem was caused by people like you. You are too ignorant & stupid to understand how and why this is.

Regulation is the road people take find a destiny they seek to avoid! There is a reason why people are their own worst enemies!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

What alternative do you propose would be better?

Regulation is why you can drive a car at high speeds without bumping into each other. Regulation prevents businesses from dumping chemicals into drinking water. Regulation is literally the only method we have for holding companies and powerful entities accountable.

Regulation is better than the alternative.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

“Regulation is better than the alternative.”

Then why do you complain? The FCC is still regulating, they are just regulating in a way you disapprove of. It seems to me that it is intellectually dishonest.

You say that you want to protect yourself from evil business people by giving yourself to evil politicians. I am not certain people here are playing with a full deck. I am directly telling you that regulation will not solve the problem. It will make it worse.

People here seem to understand that the government needs to generate terrorism to use it as a bully stick to beat the liberty out of our nation. Why are you so stupid as to think that regulatory agencies are not doing the same thing? Its a terrible cycle, just like a self fulfilling prophecy. First, install a corrupt politician to work with business to serve the peoples interest. Politician creates regulation that still allows businesses to abuse customers and the customers keep calling for regulation.

See how this works out yet?

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

The FCC is still regulating, they are just regulating in a way you disapprove of.

Er, no.

If the FDA goes back to simply allowing uranium and radium in everything from face creams to ice cream – for it’s "beneficial health effects" – it’s not "regulating in a way you disapprove of." It’s just plain stopped regulating.

In this case the FCC has simply decided to stop regulating. Not coincidentally, after the equivalent of a uranium/radium health product lobbyist was chosen to run it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

You didn’t offer an alternative.

Yeah, some people are bad. Yeah, some politicians are bad, and some businesses are bad, and some regulations are bad.

That’s why we’re fighting the bad ones and pushing for the good ones – people, politicians, and regulations.

What is the alternative?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

To be clear, regulation will not save you from this. Never has, and never will.

Funny, most of the rest of the world has decent competition and service in the ISP space because of regulation. However you will also find that heads of regulatory agencies are not short term political appointees, and so are not looking for their next job while running the agencies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

“Funny, most of the rest of the world has decent competition and service in the ISP space because of regulation.”

Are you sure about that?

There are laws that state that illegals should be deported by ICE but there are people & businesses that shelter them “DESPITE” regulations. Additionally, we do have beneficial regulations in the US ALREADY, but guess what? The government is not enforcing them. Why else are cable companies allowed to get away with false billing repeatedly!

Let me make this clear, regulation usurps YOUR voice in the market place. It does not protect you from the perils of free market, it only strengthens the grip corporations have over the world.

The world has been adding a lot of regulations over business in the past century. Right now, through globalist initiatives, big business has become a shadow player without election and hold a lot of power over your lives in ways you cannot comprehend. They hold summits you are not allowed to attend, they wine and dine with power in person that you can only watch about on TV.

And you constantly hand over your liberty to them. You might be able to spot a few great ISP’s operating in other countries, but they TTIP, NAFTA, and eventually own your country and by proxy YOU.

So go ahead, keep asking for regulation, when all of the regulations are in place, you will find that your “illusion” of choice in the market place will bring you no satisfaction. And because you have been telling government all of your life that you are too incompetent to manage your participation in society without their steady hand to guide you, they have started trying to tell you which foods you can eat and which ones are bad for you and regulating how restaurants cook food.

Almost everyone here is too incompetent to even discuss this issue.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

Removing regulation won’t help.

With regulation or without it, power will always seek to consolidate and enhance itself, at the expense of whoever it must.

The only solution is to constantly fight back.

Without regulation, that fight takes place on a wide assortment of battlefields, and is directly against the now-unregulated companies, who are not even technically required to listen to you, and who have little or no reason to do so.

With regulation, much more of the fight takes place on the single battlefield of the regulator, who is technically required to listen to what the public wants.

That single, central authority – your "consolidat[ion of] power into a smaller surface area’ – is much easier to steer than the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of possible catch-points for unchecked power that there would be without regulation. Yes, it’s easier to steer for the companies as well, and regulatory capture is a thing – but fighting against regulatory capture is still easier, and more effective, than fighting against unregulated companies out in the general market.

No, regulation isn’t a perfect solution – but it is far better, and easier to work with, than a total lack of regulation.

(Also, your line about "this is 100% good people and that is 100% evil people" is a plain and pure straw-man argument; virtually nothing in the real world is that binary, and virtually no one sane even pretends to believe that it’s that simple.)

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

It takes a really bad knowledge of recent history to forget that the lack of proper regulations lead the world to 2008 for instance. Point the guy to “Inside Job” and it’s easy to show how bad the lack of proper regulations is. Of course there are previous examples as well (Enron, Madoff etc)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

First avoid lying to justify your comments. That or you are the one ignorant of history.

Enron WAS STILL BEING regulated. Executives went to jail, they could not have been charged and jailed unless they broke regulations of some kind.

So tell me, which laws… or “regulations” did Enron NOT have that got them into jail? Or did they just illegally jail them to the cheering of the sheeple?

BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

Chess or Poker, Baseball or Basketball, the Justice system or the Economy… Without rules (a.k.a. “regulations”) and effective enforcement, what you’re left with just doesn’t work.

(Hell — eventually we figured out that even full out War is worse for everyone, without some regulation. )

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

“you simultaneously believe that a free market is 100% full of evil people but a regulatory one is 100% free of evil people.”

Wrong … what a silly thing to deduce from the post you replied to as there is nothing from which this could be inferred. Name calling will certainly convince anyone that your opinion is the correct one.

“regulation does is consolidate power into a smaller surface area”

and allowing incorporation does not … really? What are you saying then?

“obviously monopoly and anti-trust issues in a free-market.”

No such thing as a free market, never has been and never will be. Using models to predict the real world is a challenging endeavor not to be attempted by those who lack logic and organization.

“trade your own essential liberty for a little temporary safety”

What liberty is the commoner giving up in order to encourage corporations to do the right things? It is more like the corporation is giving something up – no?

You seem very confused, not much I can do about that.

Ryunosuke (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

let’s play companies that were broken up due to anti-trust legislation and the market was better for it shall we?

1) International Harvester and American Tobacco. – IH provided cheap equipment mostly for agrarian nations, Hence INTERNATIONAL Harvester. American Tobacco took advantage of this, and then inflated it’s own profits by unfairly marking up it’s cigars and cigarettes, due to….. lack of competition on both sides. (See below)

2) Standard Oil.

3) US Steel

Bonus round: "If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life." — John Sherman (Author of the Sherman Anti-trust act 1890)

Me says:

Re: Re: Re: t's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

“Yes there are obviously monopoly and anti-trust issues in a free-market… you are just a fool to believe that regulation is a solution to those problems.”
There are many parts of the country where people have one option for internet. That is a monopoly, the free market should not be used for utilities. Internet access is no longer a luxury.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I read sometime ago about people looking into creating a mesh out of wifi routers, I do not recall their plan for backbone connectivity but this is a potential alternative service. I’m sure there are many more to come as we progress toward total censorship.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There are several plans for internet access via low-earth-orbit satellite constellations—Elon Musk wants to send up 4000 satellites and give a latency of a few ms. (It’s a bit depressing that it may be more practical to launch thousands of satellites than to bypass incumbent ISPs on Earth.)

Wifi mesh networks are deployed. Generally some of the participants use their wired connections as uplinks. If the networks ever got dense enough you might only need “backbones” between cities, not within them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The question is how will the ISP’s deal with the cable cutting phenomenon, Tie data caps to the level of cable subscriptions or bundle access to the streaming services into the higher priced cable packages?

You can be sure that without regulation, they will find innovative ways of boosting cable subscriptions.

Karl Bode (profile) says:

Re: Or what?

Yes it’s clear we don’t currently believe in accountability. Pai does clearly have grander political ambitions, and with both privacy and net neutrality not being as partisan as he thinks in his own head, it’s possible accountability lies in wait for him somewhere down the road.

“The guy that killed net neutrality” — when net neutrality has pretty broad, bipartisan support — isn’t going to be a good look longer term.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Or what?

Long-term perhaps, but what could they hold over his head short-term that would get his attention? "We’ll take away the job you’re using to give the telecom companies everything they could possible ask for, allowing you to go back to working for them directly sooner"?

Even that would require enough push in the administration for it to be worth upsetting the donors to go after him, and after the privacy-rule fiasco not too long ago I don’t really see that happening.

Anonymous Coward says:

I for one welcome our exalted new corporate overlords…
They have only our best interests at heart… Haven’t you seen the commercials with the puppies and kittens, children flying kites in sunny fields and old couples holding hands? Surely nobody who says they only have our best interests at heart would ever mean the opposite…
No, but seriously… “Sunshine period”?
A time to avoid being lobbied and seriously reflect on all the input they have received… Hmmm…
Naaa… I can’t work with that… Way too many sarcastic comments to make… I just can’t pick only one.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No, but seriously… "Sunshine period"?

If they actually used it for what it’s described as it would make sense, giving them a little breathing room in order to go over the comments they’ve received so far before making a final decision, allowing them time to read through and get a feel for what the public wants before deciding without having to worry about a continued flood of comments coming in while they do so.

Given what they did use it for however… yeah, they might as well have called it the "We’ve already made our decision, now we’ll take the time to mock those that disagree with us before telling you" period. Not quite as concise, but a lot more accurate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

As with most politics, comments are for smaller adjustments and specific concerns. You are a bully in FCC eyes when you make people repeat concerns and ram the normal process. Mr. Oliver might as well have pushed for a DDoS. That a net neutrality oponent responded with a bot is even worse, but first cut is the deepest.

Anonymous Coward says:

I am a Net Neutrality supporter on it’s merits. With that said; I find it ironic, and somewhat sad, that Net Neutrality was born partisan, and will probably die partisan.

I also can’t help but notice that the numbers in that graph coincide with John Olivers episode long pro net neutrality marathon on HBO where he repeatedly urged viewers to comment on the FCC’s site and is now backtracking because they are using it as a platform for hate speech.

Just trying to be fair here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Shocking right?

People are their own worst enemies, this would be a prime example of why Democracies commit suicide.

Also a good example of why most people should not be allowed to vote.

You CAN fool most of the people most of the time. Just tell them that they have to join a political faction and fight the other ones because they hate them and you are all set! Lambs walk willingly to the slaughter!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Or maybe those in positions of power would refrain from their dictator aspirations – oh yeah, that will never happen because it is human nature that power over others turns you into an asshole that is only interested in furthering said power – it is a form of insanity.

Thing is … many who want the net to remain neutral are not doing so for partisan reasons, no matter how hard you wish it to be so, they feel this way because it is in their best interests … go figure huh.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Backtracking on the people that are posting racist comments. Nice cherry pic. No I didn’t “watch” the show. I read the news articles and some of the transcripts. Why, are you saying he’s NOT backtracking on the racist comments? Perhaps I need to re-read the transcripts then.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He wasn’t backtracking at all. At no time in the original segment did he encourage people to post racist or hateful comments. Period. He did encourage people to tell the FCC that they support strong net neutrality protections.

After some people showed a complete lack of civility (which was a minority of the overall comments submitted, but you don’t hear the FCC pointing that out), John Oliver ran the subsequent segment urging people to continue to comment but be nice about it. As he stated in the segment, posting hateful, racist comments will not win the net neutrality war.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I see. You have a problem with the term “backtracking”. Fine. He told people to post, then later said post but don’t post racist comments. Perhaps “modified his request” would be a better term? “Clarified”? I don’t know. The term or the fact that he modified his request are not important really in my book. It’s more that the flux of numbers in the graph above that seems to coincide with his lobbying to his viewers that’s catching my eye.

I can’t help but wonder if a Right Wing anti net neutrality tv personality were to do the same thing, if that would be pointed out and considered before we started analyzing the the support or lack there of in the comment section of the FCC web site. It’s something I have to at least consider.

I’ve become very suspicious of bloggers and news organizations recently. More and more I’m looking things up and finding that all the facts are not being reported, or only the facts that support a particular view. I’m not saying that’s happening here, I’m simply saying that this suspicion is causing a bit more research. I hope others are doing the same.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“if a Right Wing anti net neutrality tv personality were to do the same thing”

What same thing?

“I’ve become very suspicious of bloggers and news organizations recently. More and more I’m looking things up and finding that all the facts are not being reported, or only the facts that support a particular view”

And yet you refuse to watch the actual show?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“What same thing?”

Spend the bulk of his show trying to convince like minded people to leave comments on the FCC’s web site.

“And yet you refuse to watch the actual show?”

I don’t refuse at all, I just haven’t had time. Now that I know it exists, I’ll probably check it out when I get off work.

Sigh. I was just pointing out that John Oliver’s show, the one that has the green dotted line in the graph posted in this story, was an hour long lobby that was Pro Net Neutrality where he actively asked his viewers to leave comments on the FCC’s web site. This show seems to have impacted the comments on the FCC’s site to the point where it was important enough to add his show to the graph itself, and he felt the need to ask his viewers to tone down the comments.

I am trying to understand, that with the above in mind, why we think that there was a true and fair sampling of persons commenting on the site that would justify a story with “The Vast Majority Of FCC Commenters Support Net Neutrality” in the title. It just seems a little disingenuous to me. Especially since a good percentage of the “organic” comments were posted the day after his show.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The reason is, sadly, many people aren’t aware there is even a net neutrality fight going on and if they are aware, they have no idea what it’s about or what it means to them. And mainstream media coverage has been spotty at best. Not everyone is a bunch of geeks and nerds like us and reads geeky/nerdy tech blogs, or follows stuff like this on a regular basis. 🙂

John Oliver has a lot of people who watch his show. He was able to present the topic to his audience in a way that they could understand the importance of what was going on and the bad things that have happened, and will continue to happen, if net neutrality is repealed. As a result, people spoke out on their own behalf.

Granted there was probably a small subset that was just following his lead, but you don’t get that massive a response if they were simply being lobbied or following someone else’s lead. This is something they truly cared about and as such let the FCC know what they thought about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Nice post, thanks for taking the time.

As a centrist conservative, I’m not a fan of an overly big Government, but I do see the need for a Government. With that said, this is one of those “things”, like electricity or water, that really needs to be regulated. If we could roll back the clock and take away the monopolies, I would be all for that. But really, it’s not going to happen. So all we have left is this.

I guess I feel like we don’t need to spin this or “interpret” the data or play with the numbers. Yes a good percentage of the organic commenters were in favor, but an “unknown” percentage of them posted because they were asked to by an Internet personality. It was a large enough percentage that the he had to go online and try to beat back the racist trolls that were mixing in with the legit commenters. If you look at the graph, all this happened the day after his show. It seems contrived to me. Not as bad as the bot flood coming from the Anti NN side, but bad enough I felt that we should be better than that. If I’m wrong I’m wrong.

Tell you what. I’ll give this some more thought and do a bit more research. Perhaps there’s more out there I need to know on the matter.

William Braunfeld (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Many re:'s

I don’t understand why you think this is “contrived.” Please tell me what is wrong about a pundit speaking to his audience encouraging then to speak out about an issue? He isn’t bribing them, he isn’t threatening them, just explaining why he feels this is a bad thing and how you can help if you agree. Hell, I’m sure plenty of the ANTI-neutrality comments were a result of his episode shining light on the issue, too. Where, in all of this, was something done wrong?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Many re:'s

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it. I’m saying be honest with the reporting. If your going to point out that a majority of the commenters were Pro NN, then it needs to be noted that a good percentage of them commented the day after John Oliver went on an hour long rant and asked them too. I would be equally suspicious if the NRA had of asked their members to post on a Gov. web site in favor of making machine guns legal, and then the reporters turned to that web site for opinion data proving that most commenters think that machine guns should be legal. It just doesn’t seem right.

DannyB (profile) says:

What about the people AGAINST net neutrality?

What about all the comments from people against net neutrality? Should it matter that they all submitted exactly the same comment? Should it even matter that their comments were submitted in the exact alphabetical order of their names? Does it even matter that some of these people are dead? Dead people have opinions about telecommunications too. The ping times from the afterlife have a relatively high latency you know.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘It’s Time For The FCC To Actually Listen: The Vast Majority Of FCC Commenters Support Net Neutrality’

exactly and that is why asshole Pai wont take any notice of the comments! on top of that, no one except the ISPs want him to gut Net neutrality anyway!! and it can only be that they are giving him financial ‘encouragement’, surely! no one could do such a thing just for the sake of it or to get one back at their former boss, could they?

Anonymous Coward says:

This Just In...

Studies suggest that if you hold your breath long enough, you could pass out, or even die!

Of course, consumers want net neutrality, but what, if anything, are consumers gonna do about it? Our congressmen and congresswomen are paid off by the ISP corporation’s lobbyists. If we disrupt the ISPs cash flow, maybe they’ll listen.

Will consumers boycott their ISPs? NO, No, no…that’s too hard…Waaaaaa.

How about (at least) a national internet black out day. On June 1st 2017, all American citizens who are fed up with our greedy ISPs, and the greedy politicians who legislatively support them, should not use the internet. Just for 1 day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This Just In...

I agree, I think we need another internet blackout day.
Whether that comes during the FCC proceedings or when congress tries to pass a bill gutting net neutrality, not sure which would be better.

Sadly, consumers not using for the internet for a day would have zero impact on ISP’s. You pay by the month so they get paid whether you use the internet or not. And likely they wouldn’t even report it because they literally don’t care whether you use their service or not, as long as they get paid.

Secondly, the internet is, or is fast becoming, necessary for everyday life (banking, homework, career work, job applications, government forms, health, etc…). I work in IT and regularly have to work from home. Going without internet is not possible for me. Additionally, most Americans have the choice of only 1 or 2 ISP’s in their area. To boycott the ISP’s engaging in this behavior, people basically have to go offline permanently until something changes. That’s essentially asking people to stop using water or electricity at this point.

So yes, in a way boycotting ISP’s is too hard, but not because people are soft or whiny. It’s a necessity for many of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: This Just In...

I agree, I think we need another internet blackout day.

Well, the ISPs would love the Internet to be blacked out, and would likely use front groups to extend it. Such a blackout is likely to do more damage to the content providers that you use the Internet to access, than the ISPs, who hate them taking eyeballs away from cable TV.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: This Just In...

The point is not to hurt the ISPs directly. Without competition in the local ISP space, that is just not feasible right now. The point is to show government that the people who elect them really care about this and they could wind up without a job next election if they destroy it.

The internet blackout during the SOPA/PIPA fight wasn’t to send a message to the ISP’s, it was to send a message to the government. And while many content providers participated, not all of them went so far as to shutdown entirely. Many just very prominently blacked out their logos or main pages, the service itself was still usable so they didn’t suffer any downtime or harm.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This Just In...

The Internet Blackout in the SOPA/PIPA fight was strongly supported by the sites that joined it, and that mobilized the people to contact their politicians. A patchy boycott by a few people would be all too easy to ignore. What you need to figure out is how to mobile enough people that the politicians. which could be getting the Internet content providers to take action to bring the matter to the publics attention.

legalcon (profile) says:

I’m only half saying this to piss off all you authoritarians, but opposition to NN requires the higher brain cell count required of understanding long-term thinking and why the promise of NN is a fucking lie, which probably means people in opposition are at their jobs being productive instead of writing useless comments to the FTC. Really though, for trying to put the internet under the boot of regulators, you should all be ashamed, especially if you were around when it began.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You misunderstand what NN is about, it is not about putting content providers under the boot of government, but rather preventing them being under the boot of the ISPs, who want to be the gatekeepers to Internet content, with a primary objective of either protecting their cable TV business from the competition that Internet content represents, or if they cannot do that, replacing their cable income by putting a toll on content providers.

A phone provider has to be neutral with respect to who you phone, so why shouldn’t an ISP be required to be neutral with respect to where on the Internet you go?

SirWired (profile) says:

Regulations aren't up for popular vote

I don’t agree with the Net Neutrality rollback, not one bit, but the FCC isn’t (and shouldn’t) pay attention to the number of comments received one way or another. They are a regulatory agency, and their job is to issue regulations they believe implements the will of the Legislature.

The point of the comment process is for members of the public to bring facts to the FCC’s attention that they might be unaware of. A bazillion people repeating the same talking points they heard in a late-night comedy show is just going to get ignored, no matter how correct they are.

If citizens don’t have any unique insight on the situation, but want to stop a regulatory agency from doing something, the method for doing so is through the legislature (as imperfect a mechanism as that is.) Flooding the agency with comments is just waste-of-time clicktivism.

TruthHurts (profile) says:

Send Ajit the pre-cursor for the lawsuit he'll be facing if he dismantles net-neutrality...

Class action lawsuit filed against him personally for the damage reversing the rules will cause, fiscal as well as physical.

When faced with over three hundred and twenty million litigants against his personal finances, he’ll back down in about 0.6 seconds. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well failed!

Using self selected people for a survey is wrong to start with. Like many topics the opposite view may be broadly supported, just not by people who send comments or choose to be part of a survey.

Its also equally true that net neutrality is framed only in a sibgle dimension by most supporters. That is the free and open internet idea (like we didn’t have that before). There is no discussion of what the loss of over the top service revenues might mean for last mile investments over time.

Remember that the entire debate was started by Netflix getting mad because isps wouldn’t peer with their network provider thus interfering with their business model. Taken in that light NN has always been a crock, a cover for ramming a business model through and making others pay for it.

William Braunfeld (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Somehow, I doubt you’d be singing the same tune if the comments were overwhelmingly anti-NN.
The “survey” was open to everyone. If the anti-NN side couldn’t be bothered to respond (as opposed to the issue being mostly non-partisan, which I fully believe), then perhaps they should have motivated themselves; especially since they already knew what was coming based on the LAST TIME we did this.
And no, we didn’t have a free and open internet before nor even after net neutrality; remember “zero rating”?

Hugo Connery (profile) says:

This is what journalism looks like

The [linked]( statistical analysis at is wonderful. Here is the data, and when the publisher is unsure of claims explicitly says so.

You know, using the all too unfamiliar question mark ! ?

Huge issues are raised here. The use of data breaches to auto-spam public feedback mechanisms is, IMHO, the most interesting.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...