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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday August 26 2014, @03:06PM   Printer-friendly
from the more-important-than-a-wardrobe-malfunction dept.

TechCrunch reports

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday it would extend the net neutrality reply comment period from September 10 to September 15.

The commission has already received more than 1.1 million comments, which it released to the public last week. That is the largest number of comments the FCC has ever received, with the exception of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004, which garnered 1.4 million comments. With three extra days, net neutrality commenters will likely beat that.

The deadline for the reply comment period was pushed back to match the extension of the initial comment period, which occurred in July after the FCC experienced issues with its website. Because the first comment period was extended three additional business days and the reply period then started later, the FCC extended the period for reply comments.

"To ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings, the Bureau today is extending the reply comment deadline by three business days," the FCC said in a release.

So keep your comments coming!

Related:
FCC Extends Internet Slow Lane Comment Period

Related Stories

FCC Extends Internet Slow Lane Comment Period 9 comments

From FCC Press Secretary, Kim Hart:[1]

"The deadline for filing submissions as part of the first round of public comments in the FCC's Open Internet proceeding arrived today. Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Please be assured that the Commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record.

Accordingly, we are extending the comment deadline until midnight Friday, July 18. You also have the option of emailing your comments to openinternet@fcc.gov and your views will be placed in the public record."

It appears that you have until 11:59:59 Thursday, July 17, 2014 (Washington DC time I'm assuming)... Or did I read the bureaucrat's unclear timetable wrong?

The proceeding number is 14-28 — Gizmodo has a page on this as the direct link, "might not work every time."

[1] I would think that the Federal Communications Commission could do better than to put up a page with 97 coding errors.

September 10: "Internet Slowdown" to Campaign for Net Neutrality 24 comments

Battle for the Net has the details about what the September 10th Internet Slowdown is and how to participate.

You're our only hope.

This is the time to go big, visible, and strong--that's the only way we can actually win this fight. We all need to get as many people in our respective audiences motivated to do something. We can make this epic, but only if you help. We need companies to be frontrunners, leaders, and heroes on this, that's the key ingredient to raising the bar and making sure everyone goes big.

We realize it's a big ask, but this is the kind of bad internet legislation that comes along (or gets this close to passing) once a decade or so. If it passes we'll be kicking ourselves for decades--every time a favorite site gets relegated to the slow lane, and every time we have to rework or abandon a project because of the uncertain costs paid prioritization creates. Doing the most we can right now seems like the only rational step.

Ars notes

Several top websites -- including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, Wordpress, Vimeo, reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, BoingBoing, and Dwolla -- announced that they will be joining more than 35 advocacy organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists in a day of action that will give a glimpse into what the Internet might look like if the FCC's proposed rules go into effect. The protest comes just 5 days before the FCC's next comment deadline on September 15th.

Rally Marks Anniversary of Net Neutrality Rule as New FCC Chair Puts It in Crosshairs 22 comments

Common Dreams reports:

Proponents of an open internet are holding a rally on Monday [February 27] to mark the two-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote that enshrined net neutrality protections that the new Trump administration has already begun eroding.

The 3pm event in Washington, D.C [was] backed by the Color of Change, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Center for Media Justice, and Free Press, and will feature the FCC's only Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn.

[...] According to Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, "No FCC chair over the past 40 years has been so bent on undermining the agency's public-service mission and destroying the safeguards on which hundreds of millions of Americans rely."

Laying out the stakes, Max Anderson, coordinator for Human Rights Watch's general counsel's office, wrote last week:

Should net neutrality be scrapped in the U.S., it will enable service providers to throttle internet speeds or block access to websites based on commercial deals they cut with media providers. That would undermine freedom of expression and access to information. Once these practices have been established, it's a short step to other human rights consequences. Governments that already attempt to stifle lawful online expression will welcome a new tool for silencing critics. The FCC should retain its good example to the world and enforce net neutrality. If the internet stands a chance of enabling the realization of human rights, then access needs to be nondiscriminatory and in line with human rights in the widest sense.

[...] So, what can people do?

"The short answer is to raise hell", said Craig Aaron, CEO of Free Press, to Mercury News columnist Troy Wolverton.

"Net neutrality is an issue that a lot of people care about--millions and millions more than the FCC ever expected", Aaron said. "We need to hear from those people again."

The good old days: U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules in Full
What's that? You thought we fought this one before? FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period (Again)


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Snow on Tuesday August 26 2014, @03:58PM

    by Snow (1601) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @03:58PM (#85762) Journal

    A boob on TV, or a change that could disrupt the greatest invention that man has ever made?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:25PM (#85775)

      Maybe the comment period was extended in order to get the nipple removed from place one.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by dyingtolive on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:25PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:25PM (#85776)

      There's actually quite a few boobs that enrage me every time I see them talking on a TV.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:36PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:36PM (#85780) Journal

      The FCC is threatening to disrupt the production of beer?

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
      • (Score: 2) by Snow on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:43PM

        by Snow (1601) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:43PM (#85789) Journal

        I would consider Beer more of a discovery than an invention.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:15PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:15PM (#85874)

          Because beer existed in the wild before it was discovered?

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday August 26 2014, @06:26PM

      by Tork (3914) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @06:26PM (#85824)
      I like how a forum full of people who bitch noisily for years about the cancellation of a sci-fi television serious have an issue with another group that noisily bitched years ago.
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 1) by JNCF on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:14PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:14PM (#85873) Journal

        I like how a forum full of people who bitch noisily for years about the cancellation of a sci-fi television serious have an issue with another group that noisily bitched years ago.

        Are you comparing a forum of angry nerds to an agency whose rules are backed by the federal government's threat of force? Because if so that's utterly preposterous. There is a huge power differential there, and I don't remember hearing any Firefly fans calling for the federal government to start demanding money from any broadcasting channel that didn't air their programming of choice.

        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:21PM

          by Tork (3914) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:21PM (#85924)
          "Are you comparing a forum of angry nerds to an agency whose rules are backed by the federal government's threat of force?"

          I realize I'm being kinda dumb here, but I'm not sure what you're referring to. Did the FCC call in an air-strike?
          --
          Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
          • (Score: 2, Informative) by JNCF on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:38PM

            by JNCF (4317) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:38PM (#85928) Journal

            The FCC has fined people for broadcasting material they don't like on countless occasions (figuratively). If the FCC fines you and you refuse to pay the fine, the government will take your possessions with force. If you physically resisted the seizure of your property the government would escalate the situation with you until they needed to use deadly force, and then you would die. The FCC doesn't jump straight to an air-strike when a titty hits the television, but the reason that their rules mean anything is because they're ultimately backed up by the barrel of a gun. If they weren't, we'd all ignore them.

            • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday August 26 2014, @10:42PM

              by Tork (3914) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @10:42PM (#85954)
              "The FCC has fined people for broadcasting material they don't like on countless occasions (figuratively). If the FCC fines you and you refuse to pay the fine, the government will take your possessions with force."

              That's a stretch. To get a license to broadcast on the airwaves you have to follow the terms and conditions. If you don't you pay a fine or lose your license. Next you'll be complaining about McDonads' military might interfering with peoples' freedoms to not wear pants.
              --
              Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
              • (Score: 1) by JNCF on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:13AM

                by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:13AM (#86011) Journal

                Right, you pay a fine. But if I told you that your wifi router was against my broadcasting code, and then issued you a fine, you'd laugh and refuse to pay it.

                What do you think would happen if you laughed and refused to pay the government's fine?
                What if the fine was in excess of the assets available for them to seize without violent confrontation?

                McDonald's can tell people to leave their property if they aren't wearing pants,* but they can't fine them for it with the implicit threat that if they don't pay the fine their possessions will be forcefully taken from them. McDonald's lacks the threat of force that the government has. If McDonald's had a greater threat of force than the government, we'd call them the government and they could fine us whenever they wanted. That's what "government" means, it's what we call the group with control over an area. The biggest gang in town.

                *And that's only because the government tells them they can.

                • (Score: 3, Funny) by Tork on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:32AM

                  by Tork (3914) on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:32AM (#86022)

                  Right, you pay a fine. But if I told you that your wifi router was against my broadcasting code, and then issued you a fine, you'd laugh and refuse to pay it. What do you think would happen if you laughed and refused to pay the government's fine? What if the fine was in excess of the assets available for them to seize without violent confrontation?

                  If you violated the terms you agreed to uphold then I think you'd suffer the consequences that were explained to you during the process getting the license.

                  McDonald's can tell people to leave their property if they aren't wearing pants,* but they can't fine them for it with the implicit threat that if they don't pay the fine their possessions will be forcefully taken from them. McDonald's lacks the threat of force that the government has.

                  Your homework for tonight is to go to McDonalds without pants and refuse to leave, then report back to us.

                  --
                  Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
                  • (Score: 1) by JNCF on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:51PM

                    by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday August 27 2014, @02:51PM (#86268) Journal

                    If you violated the terms you agreed to uphold then I think you'd suffer the consequences that were explained to you during the process getting the license.

                    I don't have a broadcasting license of any sort, so I never agreed to their terms. Yet they still reserve the right search my property without a warrant to inspect my wifi router, [wired.com] and fine the piss out of me if I had the balls to operate a "pirate" radio station. Please don't resort to invoking social contracts to explain why this is acceptable.

                    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday August 27 2014, @03:18PM

                      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday August 27 2014, @03:18PM (#86280)
                      Do you even undertand anything about why the airwaves are regulated? I'm just curious because you just spouted to me a clickbait line from an article that claimed to be about routers but was really about pirate radio stations. If you actually understood why the regulations are in place and what it would really take to get the pirate radio station dudes to come out and check your router, then you'd understand that you were seriously and intentionally causing a problem that could kill people. If you were to become aware of that then you would have a different set of expectations.
                      --
                      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by codemachine on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:03PM

      by codemachine (1333) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @09:03PM (#85914)

      You're spinning it all wrong.

      The US public cares about net neutrality almost as much as they care about boobs! This is a big breakthrough.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kaszz on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:18PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:18PM (#85769) Journal

    Why would FCC pay any meaningful attention to what the public thinks? or even techies?

    In the end corporations pay lobbyists that keep your public servants occupied and distort their view of reality. Their views will shape policy that takes effect.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by strattitarius on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:38PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:38PM (#85783) Journal
      My letter to my senator, which was quite nicely written if I do say so myself, was returned with a "Thanks for your comment, but we think the internet is fine WITHOUT REGULATIONS". See this is a "regulations" issue. We can't regulate the free market! Look how well the internet has done up to this point.

      Nothing needs regulation, until it does.
      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:47PM (#85792)

        It's like saying the roads don't need regulations. You should just be able to go as fast as you want, drive in whatever lane you want going any direction. And my company, which happened to get there first and monopolize all the roads, has built checkpoints and tollbooths everywhere. I let my friends through and everyone else has to pay me. But of course those aren't "regulations" since it's the "free" market imposing them on you. You can always walk. No one is forcing you to use the roads!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fnj on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:53PM

        by fnj (1654) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @08:53PM (#85906)

        Please name your senator as a point of information. The onus won't be on you if this serves to expose what an ignorant fool he is.

        • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Thursday August 28 2014, @04:18PM

          by strattitarius (3191) on Thursday August 28 2014, @04:18PM (#86788) Journal
          Sorry I did not see your reply earlier. I have one from the "R" and one from the "D".

          CHARLES E. GRASSLEY
          WASHINGTON, DC 20510-1501

          721 FEDERAL BUILDING
          210 WALNUT STREET
          DES MOINES, IA 50309-2140
          (515) 288-1145

          120 FEDERAL BUILDING
          320 6TH STREET
          SIOUX CITY, IA 51101-1244
          (712) 233-1860

          210 WATERLOO BUILDING
          531 COMMERCIAL STREET
          WATERLOO, IA 50701-5497
          (319) 232-6657

          Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts on the Internet. As your Senator, it is important for me to hear from you.

          The Internet has thrived beyond our imagination and I am suspicious of legislation or regulations that could inhibit the Internet’s impact and growth. I understand how vital the Internet is to users and consumers, and I want to continue to ensure that it is allowed to grow and flourish. The Internet not only provides us with a way to communicate and share information, but it also adds tremendous value to our economy through the commerce it allows.

          On October 22, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held its monthly open meeting and adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to seek comment on "the best means of preserving a free and open Internet.” The NPR sought comment on proposed rules to codify the four principles contained in the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy statement, and codify two additional principles. The first requires a broadband Internet access provider to treat lawful content, applications, and services the same. The other to require transparency concerning network management practices.

          On April 6, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the FCC lacked the authority to require Internet providers to treat all Internet traffic the same on their network. Essentially, the court ruled the FCC had no authority to regulate the Internet whatsoever. For the FCC to be allowed to regulate the Internet, Congress would need to pass legislation to allow the FCC to do so.

          In a far reaching attempt to regulate the Internet, then FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced plans to reclassify telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to try and reach his goal of allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet. On May 24, 2010, I signed onto a letter with Senate colleagues to Chairman Genachowski urging him to reject any attempt to reclassify telecommunications services. Anticipating the FCC’s next move on this issue, I signed an additional letter on December 15, 2010 with 28 other Senators urging the FCC to abandon this measure. However, on December 20, 2010, the FCC adopted the Title II regulations under what is advocated as ‘net neutrality’.

          On November 10, 2011, I voted in favor of S. J. Resolution 6, a resolution disapproving the FCC’s rule to regulate the Internet. The resolution was defeated by a vote of 46 to 52. I voted for this resolution because I disapproved of what the FCC was doing by ignoring the will of the Judiciary and Congress.

          On December 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted another Open Internet rule. This order required broadband Internet service providers to disclose their network traffic management policies and prohibited them from blocking any lawful content from travelling over their networks. The rule also prohibited fixed broadband Internet service providers from unreasonably discriminating against any particular content.

          The rules were challenged in federal court by a number of different companies. In Verizon v. FCC, Verizon argued that the FCC did not assert enough statutory authority to issue the rules.

          In January 2014, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision finding that the FCC did have the authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to issue the rules. However, the court vacated both the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules, nonetheless. The court found that, although the FCC had reasonably interpreted the authority granted to it by Section 706, the agency could not promulgate rules under that section that otherwise violated the Communications Act of 1934. Because the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules were prohibited by another portion of the Communications Act, the court struck down the rules.

          On May 16, 2014, the FCC voted, by a vote of 3-2, to permit a notice of proposed rulemaking to proceed to a period of open comment on a new Open Internet rule. The following are some of the main parts of the proposal as presented by the FCC:

          • Proposes to retain the definitions and scope of the 2010 rules, which governed broadband Internet access service providers, but not services like enterprise services, Internet traffic exchange and specialized services.

          • Tentatively concludes that priority service offered exclusively by a broadband provider to an affiliate should be considered illegal until proven otherwise.

          • Asks how to devise a rigorous, multi-factor “screen” to analyze whether any conduct hurts consumers, competition, free expression and civic engagement, and other criteria under a legal standard termed “commercial reasonableness.”

          • Asks a series of detailed questions about what legal authority provides the most effective means of keeping the Internet open: Section 706 or Title II.

          The FCC is accepting comments for four months from May 16th. I will carefully monitor this matter as the rule making process continues.

          Overall, there is a lot of misinformation in this debate about how Internet transmission has always worked. There have long been prioritization contracts, and the FCC does not have to provide express permission for these deals. Commissioner O’Reilly pointed out that “companies that do business over the Internet, including some of the strongest supporters of net neutrality, routinely pay for a variety of services to ensure the best possible experience for their consumers. They’ve been doing it for years. …In short, fears that paid prioritization will automatically degrade service for other users, relegating them to a so-called “slow lane,” have been disproven by years of experience.” While some people liken these voluntary contracts to paying tolls, businesses will always enter these deals as a company’s cost-to-market so that they can bring the consumer a desirable experience.

          An example of this practice is Amazon.com and it’s free shipping policy. Is Amazon.com paying a toll to the shipping company they engage to deliver their products? Amazon.com is willing to pay for the cost of its shipping to provide their customers a better experience, and many consumers choose to shop at Amazon.com for that reason. However, not all businesses choose to follow the same business model. Does that mean that the federal government should issue a regulation prohibiting Amazon.com from providing free shipping to its consumers because it is a competitive advantage? It is important for consumers to really understand what their own best interests are in this discussion so we can have choice, competition, and a dynamic Internet.

          This issue has garnered a lot of attention in Congress; there have been multiple letters and bills regarding an open Internet. In the Senate, the Commerce Committee has primary jurisdiction over the FCC and most matters regarding the Internet. While I am not a member of that committee, should legislation make its way to the full Senate for debate or a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts and comments in mind.

          Thank you again for contacting me. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of federal matters that are important to you. My offices in Iowa, as well as in Washington, D.C., are here to serve you.

          Sincerely,
          Chuck

          I responded with some counter-points and my original letter supported common carrier in no uncertain terms. I am sure the staffer that read the response just deleted it.

          Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate hearing your views regarding network neutrality.

          Since the Internet's inception, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken a hands-off approach to regulating the Internet. However, in recent years, companies that provide broadband services have sought to block or slow internet traffic from certain websites rather than treating all internet traffic equally.

          I am proud to support efforts to ensure that consumers have full access to all internet content regardless of what broadband provider they utilize. In 2010, under the leadership of Chairman Julius Genachowski, the FCC issued new rules that restricted broadband Internet providers and mobile providers from blocking content and applications and required broadband providers to publicly disclose their network management practices. In January 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down those rules finding that the FCC exceeded its authority in effort to ensure neutral treatment of all network traffic.

          On May 15, 2014, the FCC issued a new notice of approved rulemaking (NPRM) that describes possible options for ensuring network neutrality. As part of this process, the FCC has asked for public comments on this issue. For more information on how to submit your comments, I encourage you to visit the FCC's website at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/howtocomment.html [fcc.gov]

          Rest assured, I will continue to monitor this issue. Although the various options will be pending before the FCC over the next few months, I am seriously concerned that the proposed rules may not be sufficient to ensure neutral treatment of internet content and could allow broadband providers to engage in agreements with content providers to give preferential and faster access to some content.

          Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue that concerns you.

          Sincerely,
          Tom Harkin

        • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Thursday August 28 2014, @04:26PM

          by strattitarius (3191) on Thursday August 28 2014, @04:26PM (#86796) Journal
          Also I should point out that I have municipal internet service provided by the same people that give me electricity and water. I also stated how much I appreciated that option and wanted it to stay an option. I also have another option for a private company. I would have actually signed up for the private company as they provide much faster service for not that much more money. However they needed months to dig a cable to my house and I couldn't work off 4g for that long. I might still sign up with them at some point.
          --
          Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by davester666 on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:44PM

      by davester666 (155) on Tuesday August 26 2014, @04:44PM (#85791)

      They aren't. This is just to give the appearance of paying attention to the little people.

      Wheeler has consistently:
      -talked really tough about how he will keep big cable/telephone in check
      -caved on every issue for the benefit of big cable/telephone

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @05:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26 2014, @05:31PM (#85806)

        You surely just misunderstood him. With "keeping them in check" he probably meant "keeping them writing out checks."