Net Neutrality 'Day of Action' Planned

Randall Padilla
July 12, 2017

The two pro-net neutrality Senate Democrats cited an incident in May during which the FCC's comment portal crashed due to what Pai described as a "non-traditional DDoS attack".

The tech companies haven't yet said exactly how they plan to call attention to net neutrality on July 12.

Many websites will feature buffering symbols, videos, and banners explaining the benefits of Net Neutrality and how the public can help.

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And while Google and Facebook have traditionally but quietly been on the wrong end of this conversation for years, company spokespeople have said they'll be joining the proceedings on Wednesday.

Protesting companies say they will direct visitors to the FCC so that they can file comments with the agency, while others will offer widgets or other tools users can download to display their support of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission is now weighing how to repeal those so-called "net neutrality" rules, in a move that's expected to benefit internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T. Both have been working hard to broaden their lobbying focus under the Trump administration, and both have been more than happy to sacrifice some integrity (and the health of the internet) in the process. That's referring to John Oliver's net neutrality screed in May that pushed tens of thousands to Oliver's "GoFCCYourself.com", which redirects to the FCC's comment site. These alerts will show scenarios that their supporters warn could happen if net neutrality regulations are reversed, such as slow loading of content, blocked symbols or having to pay to upgrade to better service.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai plans to eliminate net neutrality protections which have been in place for the last three years and would allow ISP's to block or slow down content as they see fit. The tech companies also have financial skin in the game: They fear that without net neutrality rules, internet service providers could charge them hefty fees to reach consumers with priority upload and download speeds. Those opposed to net neutrality, however, argue that internet service providers were never meant to be regulated as common carriers and that it gives the government too much power in stifling what should be a free market.

The "Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality" was organized by activist groups Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Demand Progress. More than 5 million comments on the repeal plan have flooded the FCC's inbox in recent months, and Wednesday's day of action could spur thousands more. "The goal of this day of action is to make them listen". NFLX, +0.83% Spotify AB, Pornhub, Yelp Inc.

"Netflix's position remains the same: we support strong net neutrality protections, even if we are at less risk because of our popularity". "This is so ridiculous I'm laughing out loud", Evan Greer, one of the organizers of the protest day and campaign director for the online advocacy group Fight the Future, said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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