Data Analysis Of FCC Comments Reveals Almost No Anti-Net Neutrality Comments

from the so-what-will-the-fcc-do dept

Recently, the FCC released most of the comments it has received so far -- commenting is still open for a few more weeks -- concerning its (pretty bad) net neutrality proposal as XML files for people to analyze. There have been a few attempts, but the most interesting so far has to come from data analytics firm Quid on behalf of the Knight Foundation and revealed in an NPR article.
The key reasons pulled from the comments that standout and cluster are definitely interesting and worth noting, but what's much more noticeable is what's missing from the map: any significant argument against having the FCC step in and stop the broadband companies from screwing up the internet. The folks who put this together note that there were certainly some such comments, but just not enough to matter:
The comments did include "anti" net neutrality positions. They included statements opposing the "FCC's crippling new regulations," as commenters wrote. But they came from a form letter, or template, and all comment clusters that came from templates (five separate ones in all, four of five supporting net neutrality) were collapsed into a single node.

Taken with the entire body of comments sampled, there weren't enough unique or organic anti-net-neutrality comments to register on the map.
The analysis shows that about 50% of the comments came from templates (again, many of them coming from "pro net neutrality") folks, but it's fascinating to see that once you get outside of the form letters, the number of anti-net neutrality letters basically doesn't register. That's kind of interesting to me, because I've actually been building a list of just those letters (I've found a few) and trying to reach out to the folks who wrote them to find out what made them write those letters. I've made contact with a few, but as soon as I explain what I'm doing... they all stop responding. I hope to have more on this soon.

Either way, it seems fairly clear that, of the people who actually took the time to express their full opinions about net neutrality, almost all of them are in favor of having the FCC actually do something real. The only question is if the FCC will ever actually listen.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: comments, data analysis, fcc, net neutrality


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. icon
    Whatever (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 10:54pm

    No sh-t!

    No sh-t, there won't be many comments against net neutrality because generally it's like being against breathing. Nobody will show up saying "hey, I want to pay a lot more for a whole lot less!".

    What is interesting is that many of the comments are based on very scary "pay to play" stories, which means that the pro net neutrality agenda pushers have done a very good job to create fear and loathing (but not much in the way of valid information).

    I think that this process has one basic, simple problem, which is the cost aspect. If you want to have enough full bandwidth to watch IP tv, to stream your netflix movies, to video chat with your mom (or that girl who charge by the minute) and so on, what is the real costs involved? How much more will ISPs have to spend to meet that apparent expectation? What is the acceptable bottom limits?

    The true fear of net neutrality is that bigger bandwidth users (like Netflix or IP TV companies) could end up creating so much network congestion all over that they end up harming other online businesses. Being 100% neutral would mean that nobody would be allowed to do anything to throttle them at all. An overloaded connection could be considered anti-neutrality and an ISP or backbone carrier could be forced by regulation to up the amount of available bandwidth to meet demand, even if there is no valid business model for doing it.

    So the cost side and the obligation side of the discussion are just not out there. Tell the people they can have a "neutral" internet but it will cost them twice or three times as much, and well... the comments might change ever so slightly.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.