The Federal Communications Commission rejected calls to delay ending net neutrality rules over a flawed public comment system, saying it hadn’t relied on millions of identical or suspicious submissions in its decision making.
A group representing Netflix Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, meanwhile, said Friday it’s already planning legal action and lobbying to challenge the new rule.
In its final order released late Thursday, the commission said it rejects “calls to delay adoption of this Order out of concerns that certain non-substantive comments (on which the Commission did not rely) may have been submitted under multiple different names or allegedly ‘fake’ names.”
A study found that more than 7.75 million comments were submitted from email domains attributed to FakeMailGenerator.com, and they had nearly identical wording. The FCC said some of the nearly 23 million comments on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to gut Obama-era rules were filed under the same name more than 90 times each.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as well as lawmakers and other state officials, had asked the commission to delay its vote and implementation of new policy on the basis that the fake comments had impacted the agency’s ability to assess public reaction. The agency declined to do so.