Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'

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This week's internet slowdown protest has been, as one might expect, declared a roaring success by its organizers, after US watchdog the FCC was once again forced to change its comment policy under a deluge of opinions.

Organizing group BattleForTheNet said 2,039,500 people took part in the September 10th day-long campaign, sending 2,332,092 emails to members of the US Congress, and filing 777,364 comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the fate of net neutrality protections.

Additionally, the group said 312,171 calls to Congress were made, 1,120,000 links were shared on Facebook, and 40,000 websites participated in the campaign.

The FCC can attest to the volume of the chatter generated by the protest – the commission said that its system for receiving and processing public comments has once again been overwhelmed by the number of views its has received.

According to FCC chief information officer David Bray, the Open Internet proceeding has now generated more public comments than any previous measure.

As an alternative to the flooded comments system, the FCC said it is now taking comments via comma-separated values format. The site is allowing users to download [CSV] a template for submitting their thoughts on net neutrality enforcement. Users can then fill out the forms with their comments and email them back to the FCC.

"The Commission welcomes the record-setting level of public input in this proceeding, and we want to do everything we can to make sure all voices are heard and reflected in the public record," Bray wrote.

The FCC plans to accept comments through September 15, after which it will begin a series of roundtable discussions, kicking off with events on September 16 and 19. Those discussions will include representatives from Mozilla, the NCTA, the CEA, Kickstarter, Etsy and Verizon. ®


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