Nationwide Net Neutrality Protests Planned For Thursday

Last Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its plan to reverse net neutrality regulations that were put in place under the Obama administration in 2015. Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs), regardless of the content that is delivered or who it was created by.

Statista's Felix Richter explains that the new proposal, named the Restoring Internet Freedom order, would no longer classify ISPs as public utilities but rather as information services, meaning that telecommunication companies such as Comcast or Verizon would be legally allowed to create so-called fast lanes for content by providers that either pay for preferential treatment or that the ISP itself has a financial stake in, such as Comcast has in NBC Universal. While the FCC argues that scrapping net neutrality rules would boost investments and innovation by limiting government regulation, advocates of net neutrality argue that the concept creates a level playing field for content providers and fear that getting rid of net neutrality would stifle competition and further increase concentration in the online media landscape.

As Statista's chart below, based on a Consumer Reports survey, shows, the majority of Americans support the current net neutrality rules and don’t think that ISPs should be allowed to regulate what content their customers can access.

Infographic: Americans Voice Support for Net Neutrality | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Considering the Republican majority in the commission, it is expected to pass regardless of the vocal opposition from companies and consumers alike.

More than 600 demonstrations are planned at Verizon stores across the United States on Thursday amid the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to kill net neutrality.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made it clear last month that the FCC will vote on the fate of net neutrality on December 14. The rules currently prohibit internet service providers from charging extra fees, censorship and throttling website speeds.

The rollback is expected to pass the FCC vote next week. However, that is not stopping Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and the Freepress Action Fund who have formed the coalition called “Battle for the Net”.

Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future said in a statement: “This is the free speech fight of our generation and internet users are pissed off and paying attention. Ajit Pai may be owned by Verizon, but he has to answer to Congress, and lawmakers have to answer to us, their constituents.”

Common Dreams, a non-profit news-oriented website claims, since Pai revealed his plan to kill net neutrality rules back in mid-November, public outrage has continued to expand– despite the lack of coverage from major media outlets. Since the phone lines opened on November 21, more than 774,325 calls have flooded congressional phone lines.

On Thursday, Americans will take to the streets outside their local Verizon stores and congressional offices to protest against rolling back net neutrality, exactly one week ahead of the FCC’s planned vote.

Mark Stanley, director of communications for Demand Progress said, “With what would be a catastrophic vote by the FCC to repeal net neutrality looming, people are ready to take to the streets in protest and to offer Congress one last chance to answer the question: ‘Do you stand for your constituents’ ability to communicate and connect, or do you stand for Verizon’s bottom line?”

Verizon stores were chosen as the premiere site for the demonstrations because  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previously was the company’s associate general counsel from 2001 to 2003.


Below is a list of websites, companies, and organizations who are defending net neutrality:

Here are the companies who want to end net neutrality:

Common Dreams said 27 senators including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have sent Pai a letter on Monday demanding the FCC to delay the vote. Also, 40 consumer protection groups have sent a letter to Pai asking for a delay as well.

Building on the outrage expressed by the American public, a group of 27 senators including Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) delivered a letter to Pai on Monday demanding that the FCC vote be delayed in the face of evidence that the public “record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed.”


A coalition of over 40 consumer protection groups also called on the FCC to postpone its vote on repealing net neutrality in a letter to Pai on Monday, citing a pending court case that could ultimately “leave consumers at the mercy of internet service providers.”

The attempt seemed promising on Monday, but earlier on Tuesday the FCC rejected all calls to delay the net neutrality vote, according to The Hill.

The FCC said in a statement Monday that “the vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14.” In a separate statement provided to Ars Technica, the FCC hit back at those seeking a delay:

This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai’s plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. 

With the delay thwarted by the FCC, and over 600 demonstration sites planned at Verizon locations across the nation on Thursday, and with the US already in a state of constant and belligerent outrage, one wonders what else could possibly go wrong on the day the US government itself at risk of being shut down.


dchang0 thevekja Tue, 12/05/2017 - 23:52 Permalink

Very true.The way I see it is: we can either pick corporations or governments to rule the net, and either way, they are not working in anybody's best interests but their own. Given that gov't tends to ignore my vote (at the ballot box--I vote for something and then the politician does whatever they want) and that corporations tend to at least compete for my vote (with my wallet), I lean towards favoring corporations as our evil overlords.And at least for now, corporations don't directly command armies and police forces, at least not without going through gov't.

In reply to by thevekja

Keyser dchang0 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 01:42 Permalink

These are the same idiots that have been protesting Trump for the last year... The funny part is that they have no idea what they are protesting for, because if they did, they would be cheering for the rollback of this Obama era raping of the telecom industry and handing over control of the internet to a UN committee... But no, Barry rolled up this abomination in the name of Net Neutrality when it is anything but... The only people worse than the US government in controlling infrastructure, policy and procedure is the UN...

In reply to by dchang0

God Emperor Keyser Wed, 12/06/2017 - 01:55 Permalink

If those (((businesses))) will have their way, soon there won't be free porn on the internet nor kinky leaks.Maybe even no Internet as we now it, just a type of Cable 2.0 with corporate news, FB, Tw and a few other apps sanctioned by the (((lords))). AND NOTHING ELSE.Well, until then, here take your mind off it.Lisa Marie Varon Leaked Nudes and Sex VIDEO (93 photos)

In reply to by Keyser

RAT005 God Emperor Wed, 12/06/2017 - 02:26 Permalink

When the Obamanation was spearheading this, the story was that this would be an excuse to limit popular sites in the name of equal access by an unpopular site.  Conservatives anticipated popular alt-right being limited in the name of fairness so that minority liberal unpopular content could be given a boost.  Along the lines of lots of conservative christian radio but not too much of the opposite.But the liberals aren't worried about any of that, now it has some sensoring by ISP ISP collecting monthly fees is just going to turn its customer off if it doesn't like where they are browsing?If the Obamanation was for it, I'm probably against it.

In reply to by God Emperor

RAT005 Bes Wed, 12/06/2017 - 02:36 Permalink

A customer's bandwidth and monthly data limit are part of the ISP contract.  This isn't about throttling down speed to some sites.  Your speed is determined with your monthly contract.  Where you use that speed is up to you.  As Obama created Net Neutrality, it was suppose to boost some aspect of unpopular sites at the expense of popular sites.  I don't think there is a very complete explanation in the comments, and I can't help too much.

In reply to by Bes

Lawn Loaf dchang0 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 20:23 Permalink

I prefer .gov in the long run. At least they have a record of being backward and behind trends (as with the current internet) and incompotent at the same time, and they don't work for "profit"...because they have legal right and the muscle to steal. Makes them lazier and lackadaisical. Either way this is a heeping pile of bullshit. Will be making a trip to the local verizon tomorrow and canceling a plan. They can stick this shitburger straight in their piehole!

In reply to by dchang0

philipat thevekja Wed, 12/06/2017 - 00:12 Permalink

I think it is reasonable that people who consume masses of bandwidth (Steaming movies every day etc.) should pay for the priviege but that can be achieved by rate bands with bandwidth limits. If you consume more than "normal" usage, you pay for a higher bandwidth limit or even more for unlimited bandwidth.. This is still very common in many countries. This also forced ISP's to plan for and ivest in the necessary infrastructure to meet contractual bandwidth requirements and it defeats the argument that ISP's do not now invest in improved service or infrastructure. That is more because of Corporate oligopoly than net neutrality I live in a Third World country yet I have access to an unlimited 110Mbps fiber connection and pay only the equivalent of USd 50 per month, which includes a bundle of 100 free TV channels and virtually unlimied local and interlocal phone calls. But then US infrastructure and customer service is crap in everything compares to ROW so I suppose it isn't right just to pick on internet service.

In reply to by thevekja

RAT005 Juggernaut x2 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 02:46 Permalink

Philipat, I think all of that already exists.  Net Neutrality has nothing to do with it.  My ISP contract is 2 mbps unlimited data.  My investment property has 50mbps unlimited data.  I helped a student set up their Satelite TV internet and she had 7mbps 20gig per month.  Verizon runs a wireless type ISP near me and its around 10 mbps with 20 or 40 gig/month and costs about twice my microwave service.Net Neutrality has something to do with regulating server potential so that popular stuff doesn't get all of the traffic while some "suppose-to-be-good-for-you" unpopluar site gets no traffic.

In reply to by Juggernaut x2

wildbad RAT005 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:07 Permalink

The term "Net Neutrality" is much like the "Patriot Act" or "The Affordable Care Act".

It is a title which is intended to give the opposite impression to that what its real purpose is.

Net neutrality is an attempt by the ISPs to increase their revenue streams by charging YOU more money by differentiating between different content types. Note that THEY will decide.

As pointed out in some comments above, these decisions are currently made on the level of which rate one purchases at contract time. In the Obama models which was created via exec action and can thus be overturned by Trump's whim, will allow the ISPs to charge more for spurious reasons. The bottom line would be, whatever increases their profits.

Before the Obama interferance, they were treated as unregulated utilities. Aside from huge corporate electricity price supports most people don' have to pay more for their television use as opposed to their blender or hairdryer usea at home. The ISPs want to profit by saying "hair dryer use should cost 50% more during prime time" or would pay more if you are a hairdryer user.

You as a consumer will pay more if the Obama rules go into effect. All of the largest companies are lining up to invest in this new revenue stream but are hesitant to because it is not settled law yet.

The Term "Net Neutrality" is exactly opposite to its purpose. It will lead to a ghettoization of the internet and will eventually cost consumers MUCH more.

In reply to by RAT005

Moe Howard wildbad Wed, 12/06/2017 - 08:52 Permalink

Before the Obama interferance, they were treated as unregulated utilities. Aside from huge corporate electricity price supports most people don' have to pay more for their television use as opposed to their blender or hairdryer usea at home. The ISPs want to profit by saying "hair dryer use should cost 50% more during prime time" or would pay more if you are a hairdryer user. My electric company charges more for electricity during peak hours.You should investigate, most do.The items I have that use more electricity cost more to operate. If my neighbor is streaming 4k video from a company on the internet that he or she is paying for, should this cause my usage to be limited due to them using all the bandwidth? Because that is what happens when J6P in my neighborhood comes home and starts streaming.

In reply to by wildbad

MD dchang0 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 02:07 Permalink

You misunderstand the issue.

World with Net Neutrality: you get ZH for free, like you see it today.

World without Net Neutrality: you have to pay an extra $29.99/month to Comcast or CenturyLink for the "expanded internet access" tier, on top of the $49.99/month you're already paying for "basic" internet. Want Netflix? That's another $19.99/month, on top of your Netflix fee. YouTube and HuffPo are free though, because of an agreement they have with the ISP's.

Do you fucking get it now?

In reply to by dchang0

LetThemEatRand totenkopf88 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 00:25 Permalink

I tried to respond to you but I did not know where to begin.  Especially since no one will respond substantively to what I've said.This is about killing alternative news.  Period.  Full Stop.  Get over your ideological bias and think aboutwhat huge internet companies will do if they are allowed to throttle down sites like this one and make them unusable.Facebook will pay for fast service.Google will pay for fast service.Twitter will pay for fast service.Fox will pay for fast service.MSNBC will pay for fast service.Will ZH?  Should it have to?

In reply to by totenkopf88