What do Amazon, Netflix, GitHub, the ACLU, BoingBoing, Consumer Reports, Rock the Vote and dozens more site owners have in common?
They’ve signed on to participate in a day of action on July 12 to defend Title II net neutrality rules ahead of the first deadline to submit public comments, which falls on July 17. Organizers are asking sites to display an alert that “shows the world what the web will look like without net neutrality.” Downloadable icons include spinning wheels and boxes reading “This site has been blocked by your ISP.” While sites won’t actually be blocked or slowed, the icons will push visitors to submit a comment to the FCC and Congress protesting proposed changes to Title II.
In May, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Trump, proposed ending utility-style oversight of ISPs and announced a 90-day countdown to collect comments from stakeholders and the general public before drafting a specific order. The move would reverse a course set under the Obama administration to treat broadband as a telecommunications service, prohibit blocking and slowing down of web content, and ban internet providers from prioritizing certain traffic.
That set some battle lines, with AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast, the USTelecom trade group and other internet providers praising Pai’s decision, and The Internet Association, a group that represents more than 40 internet companies, including Google, Facebook and Netflix, countering that the current rules are working and should remain in place.
Movement organizers have posted a video at battleforthenet.com that explains why they believe net neutrality rules should stay in place and that asks the public to “tell the FCC and Congress to protect the open web at all costs.”
What’s your take on net neutrality? As a channel partner, how might proposed changes affect your business? Do you think a day of action will have any effect? Join the conversation in comments!