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Last Chance To Crash FCC Website With Net Neutrality Comments

OPB | July 18, 2014 12:42 p.m. | Updated: July 18, 2014 2:03 p.m. | Portland

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Today really is the final day to submit comments to the Federal Communication Commission on net neutrality.

The controversial proposal would allow Internet providers to charge online companies extra to deliver content faster. Opponents of the plan say that could hurt startups attempting to make an impact on the Web with a small budget.

The FCC moved its original deadline of Tuesday after an overflow of public comments effectively shut down the FCC website.

Comedian John Oliver of Last Week Tonight broke the issue down in a segment last month and mobilized the public (speaking specifically to those Internet trolls we all know and love) to send their comments to the FCC.

“For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger, that badly spelled boil that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think put on weight, or politicians that you disagree with … we need you to get out there, and for once in your lives focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction.”

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has been an outspoken opponent of the FCC proposal, and submitted his own 8-page comment to the commissioners:

“It is impossible to permit pay-to-play discrimination without disadvantaging everyone who does not pay. Paid prioritization is destined to result in an Internet that tilts in favor of well-established and deep-pocketed players. And it is destined to create a set of disincentives for improving the technology for the benefit of all.”

Wyden’s staff used his Twitter account to actively retweet some dated memes that call for more comments on the FCC website.

NPR reports that the proposal isn’t the top commented topic for the FCC — at least not yet. The FCC received 2 million comments on media deregulation and 1.4 million comments about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl in 2004.

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