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Net Neutrality Has Tech Giants Rallying to Its Defense

Net Neutrality Has Tech Giants Rallying to Its Defense

Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and dozens of other major technology companies protested online on Wednesday against proposed changes to U.S.net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others. Don't be surprised if you see your friends changing their social media avatars or profile pictures, too.

Among other rules, the FCC's 2015 regulations prohibit providers from throttling or blocking material, and prohibit them from charging higher fees for prioritized delivery.

"We respectfully suggest that real action will involve people coming together to urge Congress to pass net neutrality legislation once and for all", Will Johnson, Verizon SVP of Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs adds.

The critical issue is whether the internet be an all-you-can-eat buffet of information, videos, and LOLCAT memes; or an à la carte menu. This means providers can not prefer one website or service over the other by granting unequal loading speeds or by blocking or slowing content. Should the internet be more like cable, where you subscribe to a package of sports, entertainment, and news websites?

Net neutrality, therefore, in its present state, is a regulation meant to curb potential abuses of corporate power by ISPs who seek to offer tiered pricing, regulate political content they might disagree with, or single-out certain users or applications and deny them access. Join the day of action and show Chairman Pai you don't want his corporate overlords to become the bosses of the internet.

A decision on whether a u-turn on net neutrality rules will come into effect is due to be decided on Monday, although an online protest is happening today in a bid to convince the FCC to stay with the current set of rules.

But Trump's FCC, with Pai at the helm, wants to repeal the rules. He vowed earlier this year to roll back the new rules in order to protect consumers.

"The fact is that political change doesn't begin in Washington, D.C. and then trickle down".

The deadline for comments on the FCC's proposal is July 17, and 5.6 million have already been sent, according to The Associated Press.

As you make your way around the Internet today, you may notice that a few websites look a bit different than usual. "If they succeed, they'll be able to slow down websites, censor content, and block the free exchange of ideas". "So, we are joining this effort because it's consistent with AT&T's proud history of championing our customers' right to an open internet and access to the internet content, applications and devices of their choosing". "This is another thing that will reduce choice, increase costs, and reduce innovation".