Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Thousands of Internet Companies Gear Up for Net Neutrality Day

Net neutrality day set to be the largest online protest in years Open Letter - Internet Creators Guild
Heather Davidson | 12 July, 2017, 00:45

BFA said the protestors will claim that the FCC wants to end net neutrality, that Title II is the only way to preserve an open internet, and that ISPs oppose net neutrality.

Who will come together for the protest: More than 180 companies including Amazon, Twitter, Etsy, OkCupid and Vimeo, along with advocacy groups such as the ACLU, Change.org and Greenpeace, will join the protest and urge their users and followers to do the same.

Have there been net neutrality protests before?

The addition of Google and Facebook to the protest has the potential to make a difference. "The only people that benefit from eliminating the current net neutrality rules are the big cable and broadband companies that stand to add to the billions of dollars they already make in profits".

AT&T's blocking of FaceTime on its mobile network in 2012 was mentioned by the FCC in its 2015 net neutrality order as one piece of evidence in favor of strict net neutrality rules. As it noted in its S1, the papers it filed to go public, "the adoption of any laws or regulations that adversely affect the growth, popularity, or use of the internet, including laws governing internet neutrality, could decrease the demand for our products and increase our cost of doing business".

They are all actively opposing the Federal Communication Commission's plan to scale back Title II, the legal framework for net neutrality rules enacted in 2011. Net neutrality is often defined by three tenets: that internet service providers can not block access to any content, throttle or slow a connection, or offer paid prioritization to companies or services who are willing to pay for preferential treatment. 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.

July 12 is the set date for this day of action, where Internet websites will attempt to show users what the web would look like if net neutrality regulations are reversed. "Despite this fact, some of the country's largest tech companies will continue advocating for utility regulations that apply only to ISPs, while they themselves can continue to prioritize web traffic and content without regulatory oversight". "Big Internet service providers ought not to be able to pick winners or losers".

More information about the day of action can be found here.

"Netflix's position remains the same: we support strong net neutrality protections, even if we are at less risk because of our popularity".

MapLight analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings from the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives for clients that report lobbying activity on net neutrality, as retrieved on July 3, 2017.

Evan Greer of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit that helped organize the protest, said supporters would be glad to have AT&T join them in their fight, if the company was truly honest.

Read: What Is Net Neutrality?

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