FCC Net-Neutrality Comment Deadline Closes

Sept. 7 could be next date to watch
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At press time Aug. 31, the FCC's network-neutrality docket had 21,873,926 comments. The official comment period closed midnight Aug. 30, though the FCC could still be adding comments that had come in before that, and it will continue to accept them even afterwards per custom.

They were commenting on FCC chair Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back Title II classification of internet access and reconsider the 2015 Open Internet order rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

That almost 22 million is a record number of comments on any proceeding, though many of those comments were duplicates, created by e-mail generators, or from overseas addresses, according to an analysis submitted to the FCC this week.

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Those comments included a wide range of unfiltered input, with the docket packed with four-letter words and invective the FCC would never allow on air, but does in its comment system in the interests of letting all weeds, as well as flowers, bloom. FCC chair Ajit Pai had signaled that the FCC was going to err on the side of inclusiveness in the docket.

With the next FCC public meeting set for Sept. 28, and the FCC customarily noticing the tentative agenda for monthly meetings 21 days beforehand, Sept. 7 could be the next milepost day for net-neutrality watchers if the chair wants to schedule a vote on his proposal and that is enough time to have mulled all those comments.