FCC site crashes after John Oliver segment

The Federal Communications Commission's website went down Sunday night after comedian John Oliver skewered Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to scale back net neutrality rules.

The host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" ripped the chairman's proposals and then directed viewers to visit a website with the name gofccyourself.com. That site takes users directly to a page where they can file comments to the FCC on net neutrality.

After the new address was unveiled, the FCC’s website went down, which many attributed to a high volume of traffic resulting from the show. As of Monday morning, the website was still operating more slowly than usual.

The FCC, though, claimed on Monday afternoon that it's website had also been hit by a cyberattack after Oliver's segment.

“Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos)," FCC chief information officer David Bray said in a statement Monday afternoon.

"These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC,” he added.

Pai unveiled his proposal to curb net neutrality rules last month.

The regulations, originally introduced under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, aimed to create a level playing field on the internet by bringing internet service providers under the FCC’s jurisdiction to prevent them from treating certain types of content and websites more preferentially than others.

Oliver challenged Pai and telecommunications companies that argue net neutrality would inhibit broadband investment, noting comments Verizon made to its investors.

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“Maybe the best way to gauge Title II’s impact is to listen to what cable companies told their own investors, to who they are legally obligated to tell the truth,” Oliver said before quoting a Verizon executive, who said on an earnings call in 2014 that net neutrality “does not influence the way we invest.”

Oliver also called into question the numbers that Pai routinely refers to when discussing decreased net neutrality investment.

This is the second time Oliver has highlighted the FCC. The first time resulted in thousands of comments being filed on net neutrality and also slowed the site.
 
This story was updated at 4:40 p.m.
 
Harper Neidig contributed.