Tech Companies Stage "Day of Action" Urging FCC to Protect Net Neutrality

Internet Day of Action Why Net Neutrality Must Survive
Fight The Power. Save The Net

13 July, 2017

The online protest, which is being labelled as the "day of action", is a last-minute attempt to show regulators in the United States that all data online should be treated equally and that all internet users should be given the same internet speeds.

Even companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google are getting in on the action, bringing awareness to the issue of a free and open Internet. Below are three things you can do today to make sure we let everyone in Congress and the FCC know that we won't let them destroy net neutrality. The FCC voted in May to reverse 2015 regulations that prevent Comcast, AT&T, and other internet service providers from blocking certain websites or slowing down or speeding up specific content.

ISPs have argued that Washington is hyper-focused on them as gatekeepers, while keeping a hands-off approach on edge providers as though they were still struggling garage-innovators, rather than behemoths with staggering valuations and market power.

In a fairly classical regulatory brouhaha, most of the big cable companies which the protest movement think would be at liberty to act maliciously have come forward in support of the FCC's proposals.

The "Battle for the Net" comes five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC's planned rollback of open Internet protection rules.

The view of President Donald J. Trump's appointed FCC chair Ajit Pai is in line with that of the ISPs.

"The internet has succeeded up until this point because it has been free to grow, innovate, and change largely free from government oversight", wrote the NCTA, the Internet & Television Association, the primary broadband and cable industry trade group, in its statement on net neutrality.

Organized by the impressive minds behind the SOPA blackout and the Internet Slowdown, the day of action is focused on grassroots mobilization.

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However, there's now a move by the FCC to repeal the rules, much to the exasperation of web users and technology companies.

More than 170 internet giants including Netflix, Google and PornHub, will protest today against plans to remove rules protecting "net neutrality".

"Nothing in this part prohibits reasonable efforts by a provider of broadband Internet access service to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity". Net neutrality is popular across the political spectrum, with a recent poll finding 76% of Americans support the current regulations.

What exactly is "net neutrality"?

If net neutrality is lost, internet service providers (ISPs) could create special "fast lanes" for content providers willing to pay more.

Opponents, however, believe that removing net neutrality could increase competition among ISPs, the BBC reports.

The deadline for comments on the FCC's proposal is July 17, and 5.6 million have already been sent, according to The Associated Press.

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