What Is Net Neutrality?

Internet Day of Action Why Net Neutrality Must Survive

"Right now, when you pay your internet service provider, you're paying for access to the entire internet".

The Day of Action online protest, which is being organized and supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Twitter, Etsy, Kickstarter, Mozilla, GitHub, Vimeo and many other businesses, is being held today, July 12 to grow support for the net neutrality rules, which went into effect in 2015. 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.

"If net neutrality is lost, there is no way of turning back: Big corporations will own the internet, big corporations will decide what we see online, big corporations will dominate the public opinion, big corporations will dominate any future decision to be made in politics", said Matthias Pfau, co-founder and developer of Tutanota. During this internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality, sites and apps are posting banners, videos and GIFs to their platforms and social media accounts as well as sending push notifications to their users.

This is an extremely important cause that several organizations are showing their support for, so when you see those spinning wheels or frustrating messages, you might want to take a moment to let the FCC know how you feel about the matter. The Internet came together in 2012 to defeat SOPA and PIPA, which would have given the government unprecedented ability to shut down websites for "copyright violations", and then again in 2014 and 2015 for our original fight for net neutrality.

The view of President Donald J. Trump's appointed FCC chair Ajit Pai is in line with that of the ISPs. A lot of users might happily skip out on some Etsy shopping today to support the protest, but don't take away PornHub!

The US communications regulator FCC voted to overturn rules implemented during Barack Obama's presidency which forbade internet service providers (ISPs) from favouring certain services over others previous year. Net neutrality rules prohibit such top companies from expanding business models to adapt to the market.

OkCupidWhy does the FCC want to get rid of net neutrality?

The FCC's current chairman, Ajit Pai, is an ideologue who has always been adamant in his opposition to the 2015 rules, arguing they amount to undue regulation that hurts business.

But internet companies have been vocal in their opposition to Pai's plans.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden tells Wired he believes ISPs are only paying lip service to net neutrality to avoid public backlash.

FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield declined a NBC News request for comment on Wednesday's planned action.

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