File Comments at the FCC on the Open Internet

Rock the Net

In October 2009, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it was accepting public comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) about Network Neutrality and the Open Internet.

The FCC is seeking public input on draft rules that would codify and supplement existing principles to safeguard the Internet’s openness. This process is intended to secure and protect the many economic and social benefits of the open Internet by preventing anyone from restricting the free flow of lawful content and applications online.

In October 2009, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it was accepting public comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) about Network Neutrality and the Open Internet .

The FCC is seeking public input on draft rules that would codify and supplement existing principles to safeguard the Internet’s openness. This process is intended to secure and protect the many economic and social benefits of the open Internet by preventing anyone from restricting the free flow of lawful content and applications online.

FMC built an online tool that was active from January – March 2010 that helped dozens of musicians, composers and songwriters file public comments in this proceeding. 

FMC and net neutrality


FMC has been working on this issue through our Rock the Net campaign since 2007. FMC has long advocated for policies that help artists reach potential audiences without the bottlenecks and gatekeepers so common to the original music industry. Our support of Net Neutrality reflects an ongoing commitment to a legitimate digital music marketplace where artists have access and fans can find the music they want.

Now is the time!

With a new FCC in place – and a majority of commissioners in favor of codifying the net neutrality principles – musicians and the public have a remarkable opportunity to to play a part in achieving public policy that serves their interests.

How musicians can participate

Look, we know this policy stuff isn’t easy. That’s why we built an online form that helped dozens of musicians, composers, songwriters and indie record label owners like yourself file a public comment in the FCC’s Net Neutrality/Preserving an Open Internet proceeding.

The form had nine text boxes, each with explanatory text that match some of the many questions that the FCC is asking of the public in this NPRM. Musicians typed in their own thoughts into each box, and hit “save”. We made sure that comments were filed at the FCC in the proper proceeding.

Some pointers:

  • Give your opinion on as many or as few of the topics below as you like.
  • Include facts, data, or experiential evidence where you can.
  • This is not a test — it is a guide. You do not need to fill in every box, just the ones where you feel like your personal experience will help the FCC to create better policies related to net neutrality, an open internet and broadband access.
  • Remember that these are public comments. Your comment, including your name and address, will be displayed on the FCC website.
  • Comments like “Comcast sux!” may be funny but are not helpful in the FCC crafting better policy, so try to make your critiques productive.

Okay, now let’s get to it!

Comments were due January 14, 2010.
Reply comments were due March 5, 2010.



FMC Comment Tool in the News


R.E.M.: Everybody Hurts (without network neutrality)
Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, Jan 13, 2010

Future Of Music Coalition Collects Net-Neutrality Comments
John Eggerton, Multichannel News, Jan 8, 2010

Crossover bands hit FCC with net neutrality letters
Matthew Lasar, Radio Survivor, Jan 8, 2010

Music Industry Group Creates Net Neutrality Website:
Site features net neutrality shout-outs from musicians like R.E.M. and Pearl Jam

John Eggerton, Broadcasting and Cable, Jan 8, 2010

Read Comments filed by Bands and Performers


Nearly a dozen working bands and musicians are filing comments in this proceeding, each explaining in their own terms how they rely on an open internet. We encourage you to read any of these to get a sense of how musicians are articulating their position.

Worth Watching


Damian Kulash from the band OK Go testifying in front of House Commerce Committee, March 2008

Read Damian’s testimony

FMC’s Interim Director and violinist Jean Cook testifying in front of New York City Council on net neutrality, November 2009

Composer Alex Shapiro’s testimony in front of the FCC on the importance of broadband deployment, especially in rural areas, September 2009

Articles and Interviews


The Internet Must Not Become a Segregated Community
by Maklia Cyril, December 2009

Music On Our Terms
by Jean Cook, November 2009

Net Neutrality and Urban Music by Eric K. Arnold, October 2008

Ensemble Digital: The Kronos Quartet’s Sidney Chen on the Open Internet August 2008

Untangling Net Neutrality: One Music Advocate’s Perspective by Jean Cook, August 2007

Op Ed: Indie-rock revolution, fueled by net neutrality The Hill, July 2006

Learn More about the Issue


FMC’s Net Neutrality Fact Sheet

FMC’s Rock the Net campaign
FCC’s website about the Open Internet NPRM (very informative)