The Federal Communications Commission has been soliciting public commentary on a proposed change to the rules that currently ensure net neutrality. While people are taking the time to send out either a form letter or write an original missive of their own, spam comments have been adding to the overall totals of submitted comments. For example, Ars Technica reported in May 2017 that 128,000 identical comments were submitted through the portal for receiving public comments on this particular matter.
Consulting firm Emprata was commissioned to run a study to determine the nature of the comments sent to the FCC by Broadband for America, a lobbying & policy making group funded by internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others. The study analyzed the 21.8 million comments made to the FCC so far and found that 60% were against Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to do away with current net neutrality protections and 39% supported the removal of said protections.
However, a portion of the comments is comprised of either bot spam or form letters. According to the study, form letters comprise 89.8% of comments against removing the current rules and 99.6% of comments in favor of removing the current rules. Remove those from the equation, and the numbers are starkly different: 98.5% of original comments (neither form letters or spam) oppose the proposed repeal of current rules in place.
Emprata’s findings are in line with other studies & polls conducted in the course of the comment submission period such as a poll commission by Mozilla and a survey commissioned by the NTCA, the top lobbying organization for the cable industry.
What do you think about the conversation over net neutrality? Should the current rules be repealed? Should they be left in place? Should additional rules & regulations be placed upon internet service providers? Let us know in the comments below!