There is still time to submit your opinion on the FCC's proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules that were set in place under the previous administration, though you will have to act fast. The deadline is today.
Originally, the FCC was to stop collecting comments two weeks ago. However, several advocacy organizations filed a motion to extend the commenting period, which the FCC partially granted, TechCrunch reports (opens in new tab). The EFF, Public Knowledge, ALCU and others sought an eight-week extension, but was granted two weeks instead. A small victory, we suppose, and one that came amid opposition to the motion from various broadband and telecom industry groups that are eager to roll back the rules already.
The FCC has received over 21 million comments so far. Citing a study from the firm Emprata LLC, underwritten by Broadband for America, a lobbying group for the telecom industry, Recode says (opens in new tab) more than 90 percent of the comments are pre-written letters (from both sides). Millions more appear suspicious in origin.
Not that it really matters, if we're being cynical. Net neutrality has become a partisan issue. Furthermore, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has long voiced his opposition to letting the government regulate the Internet like a utility. In that regard, the commenting period feels more like a formality.
The good news for gamers is that upending the rules isn't going to suddenly turn gaming on its head, or the Internet at large. However, it could have negative longer-term effects. As we pointed out in a previous article, our hobby is increasingly intertwined with the internet, and downloading games and watching streams is becoming a larger part of global internet usage. Removing rules that are designed to ensure a level playing field could one day affect how we use the internet to play games or interact with the PC gaming community at large.
That said, commenting on the proposal is one of the few things you can (and should) do. You have until midnight (EST) tonight to submit your comments, which you can do by going here (opens in new tab).