Net Neutrality Day of Action: Help preserve the open internet


I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years.

The protest comes as Democratic lawmakers bring renewed focus on the issue.

The first deadline for comments on the FCC's plans is due on 17 July, and a smorgasbord of technology firms is protesting the proposals ahead of that date.

Companies like Facebook, Reddit, and Netflix have broadcast statements supporting the "Day of Action" effort.

More than 4 million consumers lodged their comments in 2014 - the last time the FCC took public comment. In May, televised commentary from comedian John Oliver during his HBO show sparked a surge of comments to the FCC.

Net neutrality, therefore, in its present state, is a regulation meant to curb potential abuses of corporate power by ISPs who seek to offer tiered pricing, regulate political content they might disagree with, or single-out certain users or applications and deny them access.

With the "Day of Action", the backers of net neutrality hope to convince the agency to uphold the previous rules, and they want to pressure Congress to take that stance, too, said Evan Greer, the campaign director for Fight for the Future, in an interview. Comcast continuing to make just as much money as it is now, or the general public having to cough up unregulated amounts of money every month to be able to apply for jobs, communicate with family, or pay bills?

The fear is that without the rules big companies with established user bases would become even more dominant because they would reluctantly pay to ensure services were accessible. Some will simply slow down in order to demonstrate how stripping away the protections of net neutrality could affect us, while others will display a message pertaining to their protest.

The "day of action" - which supporters claim will be the largest online protest in history - comes as the new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the USA telecoms and media watchdog, prepares to defang tough rules protecting internet access in the United States following pressure from cable companies and other internet service providers (ISPs). Led by Trump-appointed Chairman Ajit Pai, the new FCC is weighing options to repeal the Title II classification and leave ISPs to their own devices. For gamers, rolling back net neutrality means gaming could get a lot more expensive. Spokesmen for Facebook, Netflix and Alphabet Inc.'s Google confirmed participation and declined to offer details.

Companies that are taking part in the event include Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG,GOOGL),, Inc.

Numerous websites participating in the so-called "Day of Action" on July 12 are displaying a whirling symbol of a web page loading slowly. In 2012, the USA considered a Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPS), and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

The 2015 vote passed 3 to 2 along party lines under then President Barack Obama's administration.

Still, Democratic representatives are agitating against the change.

Net neutrality is the concept that all sites on the internet are considered equal, as far as access and speed to connection goes.

"Keeping the internet open for everyone is crucial", Sandberg wrote. Al Franken of Minnesota said in a tweet.

I don't want ISPs to have the power to block websites, slow them down, give some sites an advantage over others, or split the Internet into "fast lanes" for companies that pay and "slow lanes" for the rest.

Others are organizing to support the FCC.

Porn sites have also joined the cause, which was organized by the liberal advocacy group Fight for the Future.

AT&T argues that it supports the idea that an open internet is very important because it allows information, ideas and commerce to flow freely, thus making sure that there is freedom of expression.