Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Crunched FCC net neutrality comments not yet online

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released six .xml files containing 1.1 million comments on its recently-released proposal dealing with net neutrality to the public and invited them to crunch this data for them.  Total data in the six files is 1.4 gigabytes.

According to Bartees Cox, Deputy Press Secretary at the FCC:

“The comments have always been available. Yesterday we took those comments, added to them, and re-launched them in an open data format (XML). Because of the new format 3rd parties can create data sets and other visualizations from it. Hopefully by giving more people access to data in various ways, more people will be able to take part in the comment and reply comment period.”

The files themselves are available at:

Read more in:

FCC Makes Open Internet Comments More Accessible to Public
by: Gigi B. Sohn, Special Counsel for External Affairs, Office of the [FCC] Chairman, at:


As this article is posted, no one has yet posted the results of a text analysis of this data.  A survey of the Big Data and analytics ecosystem brings to light a number of companies, many associated as partners of Amazon Web Services, who could easily data mine this trove of public comment and surface the sentiments of those responding.  A preview of what they might find has been provided by Amy Schatz in an article entitled “FCC Gives Data Geeks New, Exciting Way to Show Public’s Hatred of Net Neutrality Plan,” at:

Etopia News will continue its efforts to find a vendor who has run this project and corroborated or refuted Ms. Schatz’ prediction of what intense computational processing of the data will reveal.  As she writes:  “By Re/code’s non-scientific review of selected comments filed, approximately 99.9 percent of those comments appear to be some variation of ‘Tom Wheeler sucks.’”

Tom Wheeler is FCC chairman and principal author of the proposal being commented on 1.1 million times.

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