John Oliver fans crash FCC site


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website went down on Sunday after liberal talk show host John Oliver directed viewers to visit a site on the page and leave comments.  Oliver and his followers were concerned about net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers should allow access to all content, regardless of source, and not favor or bar specific sites.

During Oliver’s Sunday edition of “Last Week Tonight,” he heavily criticized the FCC’s Chairman Ajit Pai.  Pai is in discussions to roll back the expansion of agency’s authority and oversight over Internet service providers (ISP).  The expansion, which occurred under former President Obama, limits users as to which parts of the Internet they can access. The FCC will vote on May 18 as to whether to start loosening regulations, and classify ISP’s as utility companies, similar to telephone services.

Telecommunications companies also say that net neutrality inhibits broadband investment.  Oliver challenged that, and said Verizon made statements to its investors to the contrary.

Oliver directed viewers to visit, and fans that went there were directed to an FCC web page that allowed them to file comments on net neutrality. After Oliver announced the web address, traffic to the comment section of the FCC site dramatically increased, and the site went down. The crash is presumed to be caused by the high volume of traffic from the show’s fans.

Monday morning, the site was not yet operating at normal speed.

Oliver discussed the FCC on another occasion 3 years ago. That also resulted in thousands of filed comments regarding net neutrality with the FCC and similarly bogged the sites servers.

Sunday’s segment can be viewed below (foul language warning).

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