Net Neutrality Debate Surpasses Janet Jackson's 'Nip Slip' in Number of Comments Sent to the FCC

I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, the net neutrality debate is for real.

learn more about Laura Entis

By Laura Entis • Sep 11, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In case you missed it, yesterday was Internet slowdown day, in which a collection of tech companies -- including Netflix, Etsy, Kicktarter, Reddit, and Foursquare -- banded together to raise awareness regarding the FCC proposals to regulate the Internet.

In its wake, the FCC announced that it had received 1,477,301 public comments concerning the FCC's proposals since July, the Guardian reports. That number tops the previous record of 1.4 million comments, which was set in 2004 when Janet Jackson experienced an alleged wardrobe malfunction on live-television during that year's Super Bowl half-time show.

More comments regarding the FCC's proposals are likely to flood in before September 15, the deadline after which the agency will stop taking public submissions.

Related: A Brief, Unfolding History of Net Neutrality (Infographic)

The majority of the debate revolves around the FCC's proposal to eliminate net neutrality, which would allow Internet service providers to create multiple levels of connection speeds, charging companies for access to "fast lanes" -- a move critics argue will automatically create "slow lanes." There is a concern that if the FCC's proposal passes, promising new startups will face an insurmountable barrier to get up and running.

This summer, comments to the FCC dramatically surged after HBO's John Oliver called on Internet commenters to share their displeasure with the FCC and voice their support for net neutrality, the only reason "why the Internet is a weirdly level playing field, and startups can supplant established brands," he said. "The Internet in its current form is not broken, and the FCC is currently taking steps to fix that."

Oliver's rallying cry had an immediate effect: The FCC's website crashed under the volume of comments and calls it received shortly after the segment ran. Now, three months later, it appears that America cares more about net neutrality than it does about Janet Jackson's "nip slip."

Related: Etsy CEO: We Couldn't Have Succeeded Under Proposed FCC Net Neutrality Rule

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for's Venture section.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Starting a Business

Free Event | February 9: Solopreneur Office Hours with Terry Rice

Running a one person business is challenging, but we're here to help you. Tune in as our expert, Terry Rice, answers your most pressing questions.

Business News

Mark Cuban's Grocery Store Hack Will Help You Score Cheaper Produce

The billionaire talked about his early days in Dallas when he was strapped for cash.


Here's Why You Should Steal Someone Else's Leadership Style

To become the best leader you can be, you must start by being a version of the leaders you most admire.