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John Oliver inspires Internet to take on FCC

John Oliver Inspires Internet To Take On FCC

Over the weekend, "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver took 13-minutes to give a few choice words on net neutrality. After comparing cable companies to drug cartels, the comedian managed to stir commenters who set their sights on the FCC - and effectively crashed its website.

Oliver said during his show 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver', "The FCC are literally inviting Internet comments at this address ... this may be the moment your whole lives have been waiting for... We need you to get out there and for once in your lives focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction!"

Oliver was referring to the FCC's initial open commenting period for the net neutrality debate running from May 15 to June 27.

Normally, legislative rhetoric like this passes by mostly unnoticed by the Internet, but thanks to Oliver's rant on HBO talk show, the comment section has received 47,000 contributions and counting. Plus, it allegedly brought the FCC commenting system to a screeching halt early Monday.

The commission tweeted twice yesterday about certain "technical difficulties."

@FCC: "We've been experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system due to heavy traffic. We're working to resolve these issues quickly."

As of Tuesday, everything seemed to be back to normal. Ars Technica spoke with a rep from the FCC who says the organization isn't certain Oliver's rant caused the breakdown, but confirmed the comment section was the source of the problem.

Well, what is for certain is that the comment section titled "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" is the only FCC forum to receive 47,000 comments in the last 30 days.

The FCC voted in May to create a plan to eliminate net neutrality. This could allow Internet providers, like cable companies, to charge companies a premium to deliver their content faster. Companies who aren't willing to pay will be left at a disadvantage.

Join the discussion

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cathy June 04 2014 at 12:07 AM

Hope it keeps crashing. Eliminating net neutrality is a terrible idea.

Flag Reply +38 rate up
universallite June 04 2014 at 2:04 AM

I agree with the people who crashed the website. Eliminating net neutrality will further increase the distance between the haves and the have nots. It will discourage small business and will control social media to a further extent than it is now. Many of the news outlets and social media outlets are already controlled by the rich (GOP). which is why we get news with a twisted slant. We must stop large corporations from merging which will reduce customer service, eliminate choices and eliminate free markets further.

Flag Reply +37 rate up
8 replies
BOB June 04 2014 at 6:39 AM

Say no to eliminating net neutrality . It will only create greater disparity in the country . I'm also sure it will be used to control the general public in other ways under the pretense of capitalism .

Flag Reply +24 rate up
Aunt Carol June 04 2014 at 12:05 AM

Once again greed drives the world!

Flag Reply +19 rate up
2 replies
iioatheobama Aunt Carol June 04 2014 at 12:44 AM

You whine about greed, what do you give up?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
5 replies
Franco Aunt Carol June 04 2014 at 8:57 AM

Get a room you two, I gave up more! :O)

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Sandy Franco June 04 2014 at 2:41 PM


Flag 0 rate up
Suzi O'Connor June 04 2014 at 6:29 AM


Flag Reply +16 rate up
1 reply
jgesselberty Suzi O'Connor June 04 2014 at 11:25 AM

You mean by allowing all those ads to run across our television screens while we are trying to watch a show? You mean by admistering the do not call list? You mean by allowing so much commercial time, the shows on television are almost an afterthought? That FCC? Yeah, right!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
alfredschrader June 04 2014 at 6:18 AM

The very thing that made the Internet a success is no taxes, and no suffocating regulation.
Sure there have been abuses by a few bad guys like Nigeria for example, but people get wise to them, and the hacks always get weeded out. Bad guys never prosper like a loaf of bread that goes moldy, anything bad ends up in the trash.
I was there when the Internet was invented . I saw one of the first messages go over it.
We used a telephone handset modem cradle on a touch-tone phoneline. Was dead slow, but it worked !

Flag Reply +15 rate up
dennis3990 June 04 2014 at 5:59 AM

The FCC needs to let the internet be. The last thing the United States public needs is the final spearhead of government regulation. Leave it alone already.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
stengernc June 04 2014 at 6:44 AM

Its all about greed and corruption and stupidity.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
donnagiovane1 June 03 2014 at 11:25 PM

I love it!!!!!!! Hopefully he can fill the void where Colbert left off.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
2 replies
Franco donnagiovane1 June 04 2014 at 8:58 AM

Will be hard to do.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jlcfenton donnagiovane1 June 04 2014 at 9:05 AM

Not while he is on a "premium channel".

Flag Reply +3 rate up
dal June 04 2014 at 6:42 AM

so let's see here the cable companies charge the user and the senders?! sounds fair to me...... not.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
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