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John Oliver fans flood FCC website in fight for net neutrality

John Oliver called on his fans to make their voices heard in the fight for net neutrality and subsequently crashed the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) website on Sunday, apparently due to abnormally high traffic.

President Trump's appointed FCC chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai announced plans in April to begin loosening net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers (ISPs), like Comcast and Verizon, to establish equal access to all legal online content and websites, rather than selectively favoring certain sites while blocking others.

The "Last Week Tonight" host blasted these plans, and encouraged his audience to visit, which redirects traffic to a page on the FCC's website where site visitors may submit messages to the FCC about net neutrality. The URL provides quick access to this page, which is otherwise difficult to find.  

"So sadly, it seems once more we the people must take the matter into our own hands," Oliver said. "Because the FCC are again going to invite public comment on their website — and conveniently for them, the process is actually a lot more complicated this time than it was three years ago."

Pai called the document outlining net neutrality rules, the Open Internet Order, which was put in place under the Obama administration "an aberration." The FCC is expected to scale back the Obama-era protections in a vote on May 18, which would loosen regulations for ISPs.

In addition to the flood of comments filed by Oliver's fanbase to the FCC, The Internet Association, which represents companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, has also called on Pai to support net neutrality.

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