In spectacularly bureaucratic fashion, the FCC just voted to start the formal consideration of its horrible net neutrality rules. That means the floor is now open for public comment, and the future of the internet is at stake. In fact, it's up to you. "But how do I comment?" you ask, "How do I politely but firmly express my rage as a member of the public?" Let us show you the way.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo on May 15th. We're going to repost it every day until the comment period ends on September 10th.
Step one: Visit FCC.gov/comments and find the proceeding with the title "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet." It should be the one on top and should also have over 20,000 filings in the last 30 days.
Step Two: Click the proceeding number "14-28." You can also try to click this direct link, though it might not work every time. This will take you to the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System. It looks a little janky, but hey, the government built it.
Step Three: Fill out the form. Write about your feelings. Express your concerns. Air your grievances. Provide your real name and address. Hope for the best.
Step Four: Click "Continue" and make sure you like what you wrote. If you don't you can modify your comment. If you do, click "Confirm."
We asked the FCC what actually happens to these comments, after you send them off into cyberspace. This is their response in full:
To be clear: the NPRM approved by the FCC today has tentative conclusions on which we're seeking comment, and many broad questions that we are seeking comment on. Once the comment period closes, we review the comments and apply them and the law to our proposals / questions, to come up with final rules. The Chairman has a goal for voting on final rules by the end of the year. Right now, it's just proposals.
The initial public comment period lasts until July 15 and reply comments will be accepted until September 10. But you might as well get started now while the news is fresh. Do let us know how it goes!
Illustration by Dan Stuckey