Net Neutrality Supporters Taking Action Today in Fight for Net Freedom

Ashley Carr
July 13, 2017

You may notice some changes to your favorite websites and online services Wednesday.

Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and dozens of other major technology companies protested online on Wednesday against proposed changes to neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others. Without these mandates, websites could put a chokehold on downloading and streaming content speeds for some users and not others - likely the ones willing to whip out the credit cards.

"We expect a fourth-quarter vote at the FCC that reclassifies broadband under Title 1 and eliminates the net neutrality rules", Cowen analyst Paul Gallant said in a report.

"The enforcement regime established in 2015 creates clear enforceable rules that enable federal regulators to stop bad behavior before it can do damage".

You can take part too - there are easy-to-use tools that will allow you to call lawmakers and submit a pro-Net Neutrality comment to the FCC.

Net neutrality proponents are on a mission to block the rollback of the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order.

Sites such as Twitter, Netflix and Spotify have banners across the tops of their sites encouraging users defend net neutrality, and then linking to pages with more information. The second is the classification of Internet service providers as Title II common carriers.

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Net neutrality is a term coined in 2003 to describe the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all of the data they are providing to customers equally, and not to use their own infrastructure to block out competitors.

Alongside those joining protests from Amazon, Twitter and Snapchat is the dating site OkCupid, holiday service Trip Advisor, and adult video site PornHub - which also happens to be one of the most popular sites in the world, outranking MSN, Bing and Tumblr.

Today's action is a grassroots effort lead by Fight For the Future, Free Press, and Demand Progress and involves some of the people behind the largest online protests in American history.

Regulators like Ofcom in the United Kingdom need to make sure they enforce net neutrality rules properly so ISPs don't take advantage of their position to the detriment of their customers.

What does net neutrality mean?

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing through a proposal to kill the Obama-era regulations, and it appears unlikely the grassroots backlash will slow him down. A 90-day comment period also began, with members of the public asked for their views.

"Requiring ISPs to divert resources to comply with unnecessary and broad new regulatory requirements threatens to take away from their ability to make investments that benefit consumers", it continued.

Other reports by My Hot News

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