Net neutrality comments top 1 million

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The Federal Communications Commission has received more than 1 million comments on its plans for new regulations on Internet service providers.

As of noon on Thursday, FCC special counsel Gigi Sohn reported that the commission had gotten 1,030,000 comments, either through its online site or over email.

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Many of those comments have been critical of a proposal from Chairman Tom Wheeler, which Web rights groups say would allow Internet providers to charge companies such as Netflix or Hulu to ensure that their users get fast Web speeds. That could lead to a “two-tiered” Internet, they claim, with “fast lanes” for wealthy companies that can pay for upgraded service to their sites and slower Internet speeds for everyone else.

Other commenters have warned the commission not to enact much tougher, utility-style regulations by reclassifying the broadband Internet as a "telecommunications service" instead of an "information service."

The comment total is the most the commission has ever received for a regulatory process, but still lags behind the 1.4 million comments the FCC received over Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.

The current comment period was originally scheduled to close on Tuesday, but was pushed back to Friday after a surge in comments crashed the FCC's system.

With still a day left to go, the number of new comments is likely to increase. Advocates have continued to press for supporters to get involved since Tuesday.