Tech Companies Plan Net Neutrality 'Day of Action'

If you didn't notice it yet, most of the websites that you visit are having an online protest of sorts this Wednesday, calling for a Net Neutrality Day of Action.

Net neutrality rules are necessary to prevent the blocking of lawful content on the Internet and keeping the Internet open by preventing internet service providers from throttling down or blocking content. FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump administration appointee, argues the Federal Trade Commission can target individual companies engaging in anti-competitive behavior, while net-neutrality rules can be left with Congress.

It's supposed to stop internet service providers selling a "fast lane" version of the internet to big companies and relegating your personal blog to the "slow lane" unless you pay up. Other companies, including Facebook, said they're participating but are not sharing their plans. "And it should stay that way".

But in May, the Republican-led FCC voted to start changing net neutrality rules.

According to the Internet Association, "Net neutrality is in real jeopardy, and we're banding together in support of strong net neutrality rules..."

Twitter and Google, part of Alphabet Inc, expressed in blog posts their support for the existing net neutrality rules, encouraging users to participate in the online protest. Twitter's PublicPolicy arm is promoting Net Neutrality Day with a special #NetNeutrality hashtag.

"We believe the internet is a powerful force for democratic good and that the ecosystem that can bring about that democratic good depends on an open internet", Larrick said. In protest, sites across the web added "loading", "buffering", "blocked", and "upgrade" alert models to content in an effort to demonstrate to users what new net neutrality legislation could look like if enacted. "Net neutrality is essential for the more than 3.2 billion people across the globe who use the Internet, which touches almost all aspects of the global economy", wrote Twitter's public policy manger Lauren Culbertson. Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit later vacated those rules on unrelated grounds, the FCC's 2015 rules are actually more rigid than its previous rules, and thus pose an even greater threat to the First Amendment. "The @ FCC wants to get rid of the rules that protect # net neutrality".

"Internet providers should not be able to charge content creators - like Netflix, Hulu, or CNET - more money to stream their service, or have the ability to block others entirely", said Dane Jasper, chief executive of the California-based Internet provider Sonic. You can send your comments to the FCC to let the commissioners know you want the internet to remain open.

Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund and Demand Progress have teamed up to create the Battle for the Net campaign.

More than a million comments on the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal have been submitted to the FCC in the past month.

Facebook tied up with Reliance Communications, which means only Reliance users can avail these so called "free" services.

In simple words, this means it would give control of the internet to those cable and phone companies who opposed net neutrality in 2015. "Defend Net Neutrality", along with a prompt to "Take Action". Under Obama's direction, the agency reclassified broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, effectively allowing the government to regulate those services, just as they do telephone networks.

Vimeo released their own video on Wednesday, explaining the basics of net neutrality and how to fight to ensure it remains intact.

  • Leroy Wright