October 22, 2014 - 4:07 pm
By Gigi B. Sohn | Counselor to the Chairman

**This blog has been updated as of 12/23/2014 to refelect the following:

Corrected December 23, 2014: The number of comments received during the reply comment period was initially reported erroneously in this post as 725,169 comments received through ECFS and CSV file uploads and another 1,719,503 comments received via the email address, for a total of 2,444,672 comments.

The correct number of comments the FCC received during the reply comment period is 1,393,835 received through ECFS and CSV file uploads and another 1,158,014 comments received via the email address, for a total of 2,551,849 comments. The FCC intends to release this revised data in XML format as well.

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. 

In the interest of ensuring that the public has open access to the nearly 2.5 million reply comments that were filed during the official reply comment period (July 19-September 15), we are today releasing those reply comments in one zipped XML file. This file includes 725,169 comments the FCC received through ECFS and CSV file uploads and another 1,719,503 comments received via the email address, for a total of 2,444,672 comments received during that time period.**  For greater ease of use, we are also making the initial round of comments available in one zipped XML file.  Both files can be found here. To protect commenters’ privacy, we have redacted email addresses from all of the comments.

As before, we encourage those with the requisite technical skills to analyze the raw data and build visualizations or other tools and to share them with the public.  This will help the FCC and the public have a more fully formed understanding of the content and source of the reply comments.   We believe that open data and transparency leads to better policymaking, and we invite and look forward to your participation in this process.