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Blog Posts by Gigi B. Sohn

FCC Releases Open Internet Reply Comments to the Public

by Gigi B. Sohn, Special Counsel for External Affairs, Office of the Chairman
October 22, 2014 - 04:07 PM

It is now well known that the FCC’s Open Internet docket is the most commented upon rulemaking in the agency’s history, with more than 3.9 million submissions to date filed both through our Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), our dedicated openinternet@fcc.gov  email address, and via the additional option of Comma Separated Values (CSV) files.   Regardless of the method through which a comment was filed, every comment submitted has been made part of the official record of this proceeding. 

After the first initial comment period ended, our IT team made those comments available to the public in a series of XML files.  These files allowed researchers, journalists, and others to analyze the data so that the public and the FCC itself could discuss and learn from the comments.   The Sunlight Foundation, TechCrunch and the San Francisco analysis firm Quid were just some of the organizations and individuals who analyzed some or all the files and made those analyses available to the public. 

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FCC Makes Open Internet Comments More Accessible to Public

by Gigi B. Sohn, Special Counsel for External Affairs, Office of the Chairman
August 5, 2014 - 12:29 PM

It goes without saying that there has been tremendous interest in the FCC’s Open Internet rulemaking.  As of yesterday, over 1.1 million comments were filed in the docket, both through our Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) and our special openinternet@fcc.gov email address.  We welcome and expect many more comments in the weeks to come.  And to be clear, every comment will be reviewed as part of the official record of this proceeding.

Because of the sheer number of comments and the great public interest in what they say, Chairman Wheeler has asked the FCC IT team to make the comments available to the public today in a series of six XML files, totaling over 1.4 GB of data – approximately two and half times the amount of plain-text data embodied in the Encyclopedia Britannica.  The release of the comments as Open Data in this machine-readable format will allow researchers, journalists and others to analyze and create visualizations of the data so that the public and the FCC can discuss and learn from the comments we’ve received.  Our hope is that these analyses will contribute to an even more informed and useful reply comment period, which ends on September 10.  We will make available additional XML files covering reply comments after that date.

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