And lo, the final tally: As of Monday night, the FCC had received a total of “approximately” 3.7 million comments on its notice of proposed rule-making concerning net neutrality and the open Internet.
That’s quite a haul.
When the tally crossed the 1 million mark, it brought down the FCC’s website in the process. After breaking the 1.1 million mark in its first comment period, the public beat my expectations and managed a massive, cresting explosion of discourse, and more than tripled the total comments submitted.
(Shout-out to TechCrunch’s now former intern Cat Zakrzewski who downplayed my fretting at the initial slowdown of comment submissions, and who correctly surmised that a second surge might occur near the end of the second comment period.)
Today also marked the start of the FCC’s set of roundtables concerning net neutrality. I tuned in throughout the day, and while I enjoyed the arguments, a lack of technical people in the general discourse was disappointing. Also, I am not sure that a single mind was changed.
That said, the FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler and its Special Counsel for External Affairs Gigi Sohn were attentive and active. It’s a long slog, frankly, to spend a day listening to people pontificate in the flesh about the proper definition of “reasonable network management.”
A number of other round tables are planned. Discourse on the issue has therefore not ceased, even if the public comment period is now behind us.