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The FCC has received 647,000 comments regarding net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has so far received about 647,000 comments regarding net neutrality as the first round of public comments comes to a close, tweeted FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Friday. “Gratified by all the feedback on #netneutrality,” Wheeler posted on Thursday when the number was at nearly half a million. The comments are in response to the open Internet rules the FCC approved by a 3-2 vote in May, which seek to set regulations on how Internet service providers can distribute their capacity to customers. The controversial rules as they are currently proposed would ban ISPs from slowing down Web access to consumers, but may allow content providers, such as Netflix, to pay for more reliable Internet access to those same consumers.

In just a few months, the FCC is expected to enact new rules that would allow (or, perhaps more accurately, fail to disallow) ISPs to provide “fast lanes” for companies who could afford to cough up the dough. When ISPs are able to decide which site’s data moves the fastest, competition becomes a matter of who is willing/able to spend the most. Big companies like Netflix, ESPN, and Disney lose. Startups lose. You lose. Everyone loses (besides the ISPs). The open Internet is in danger — but how many people actually care? 647,000, give or take. That’s the number of comments that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says they’ve received so far. Keep’em coming. In four days, the commenting process enters the “reply” phase. At that point, this first batch of comments become public. You’ll be able to read what others have commented, and voice your support/disagreement. Need a refresher on why this matters? Watch the video up top, in which John Oliver breaks it down better than just about anyone could.

What do you think?

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Written by Connor Livingston

Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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