On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver urged viewers to go to the FCC website and make their voices heard on net neutrality.
On Monday, the FCC website slowed, as the agency “experienced technical difficulties with our comment system.”
Cause and effect? It seems so.
Oliver’s segment went viral, with more than 700,000 views. That’s not the level of say, President Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” video, but it is significant for an issue that is, for most people, rather abstract. In fact, that was the point of Oliver’s segment — that big Internet providers have made the issue so boring that it is hard to draw journalistic attention.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing rules of the road for the Internet that have generated protest and criticism. Public interest groups argue that they are not strong enough to prevent Internet providers from offering paid prioritization to deliver content. The rules have not been approved, and instead the agency is a period of taking public comment.
An FCC spokeswoman said that the comments system was down for a few hours on Monday, but that it is back up and running. She said it was “unclear if the high volume was directly related to the John Oliver segment.”
Watch Oliver’s segment on Net Neutrality in its entirety below.