Net Slowdowners Say Protest Generated 722,364 FCC Comments

Figures Are As Of 10 p.m. Sept 10, So Could Grow

Organizers of the symbolic Internet Slowdown campaign claim that as of last night (Sept. 10) at 10 p.m. its protest and call for action had generated 722,364 network neutrality comments to the FCC. The docket already boasted more than a million comments.

The official deadline for comments is Sept. 15, though the FCC actually accepts them after. Final figures – at least one site, and likely more, was still carrying the icon Thursday — will be available from Battle for the Net.

According to organizers, which included Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future and the Free Press Action Fund, the campaign also generated over 2 million e-mails to Congress and almost 300,000 phone calls.

More than 10,000 Web sites participated, they said, which generally meant posting a copy of a loading icon endlessly trying to load, with a message about Internet fast and slow lanes and a click through to ways to take action by contacting the FCC or Congress.

The FCC is seeking comment on a proposal to restore anti-blocking and anti-unreasonable discrimination Open Internet rules thrown out by the court. That court said the FCC could not ban unreasonable discrimination, but could apply a commercially reasonable standard, as it had done in a previous data roaming order.

Net neutrality activists fear that will allow for discrimination, if not under this chairman — Wheeler has said paid anticompetitive paid priority would not be reasonable — then under a future chairman with a different view.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has branded the effort a PR stunt.