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In the spirit of openness (and good PR) the Federal Communications Commission has made public all of the comments it has received on its forthcoming rule-making on network neutrality.
The full set of more than 1.1 million public comments on the FCC’s proposed “Open Internet Plan” were posted to the regulator’s website on Tuesday for all to view. The comments are contained in six XML files, which total 1.4 GB in size.
“The release of the comments as open data in this machine-readable format will allow researchers, journalists and others to analyze and create visualizations of the data so that the public and the FCC can discuss and learn from the comments we’ve received,” wrote Gigi B. Sohn, special council of external affairs for the FCC in a blog entry.
“Our hope is that these analyses will contribute to an even more informed and useful reply comment period, which ends on Sept. 10.”
Before her current role at the FCC, Sohn led Washington DC-based consumer tech advocacy group Public Knowledge.
The comments at the FCC site aren’t yet complete, Sohn says. Ones made before July 18 are still being uploaded.
“Open data is an important step towards greater transparency in public deliberations,” Sohn wrote in the blog post. “We look forward to seeing and benefitting from the fruits of your efforts and welcome your ideas on how to make this data even more useful.”