Open Data

What do 800,000 people have to say on net neutrality?

Four weeks after the Federal Communications Commission released 800,000 comments from its public comment collection on net neutrality, the Sunlight Foundation emerged from the data's depths with a few glimmering insights.

The foundation massaged the data to analyze and sort the comments into keyword groupings, allowing for a thorough examination of the data sets via an interactive visualization.

A number of trends were revealed, including:

  • An estimated 60 percent of the comments (484,692 of those received) were sent from organized campaigns.
  • Two-thirds of all comments objected to creation of "paid priority" services on the Internet.
  • A comparable number of comments supported a movement to reclassify Internet service providers (ISPs) as "common carriers under the 1934 Communications Act."
  • More than half of comments that originated from organized campaigns addressed the subject of Internet access as "an essential freedom."
  • About 40 percent of all comments mentioned the potential economic impact the end of net neutrality would have on small businesses and innovation.

Read the entire report here.

About the Author

Jonathan Lutton is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him at jlutton@fcw.com

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