Technology

FCC opens public comment period for net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission released the text of its proposal to repeal the agency's net neutrality rules Tuesday, opening it up to comments from the public.

The commission voted along party lines Thursday to move forward with the proceeding to eliminate the regulations, which reclassified internet service providers as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic equally.

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal would undo the reclassification, which would eliminate the commission's legal authority to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling web content or creating "fast lanes" that websites can buy into.

The 75-page proposal, "Restoring Internet Freedom," also asks the public to comment on whether rules are needed to ban those practices.

Those interested in commenting on the proceeding have until August 17.

The proposal has already generated nearly 2.6 million comments, though those submitted during the "sunshine" period - from the week leading up to the Thursday vote to the day the proposal was released - will not be counted as part of the record.

The influx of public input may largely be thanks to comedian John Oliver, who urged viewers of his HBO show "Last Week Tonight" to show their support for continuing the net neutrality rules. He even set up a URL, gofccyourself.com, that leads visitors to the site where they can submit comments.

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