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Image by Leonardo Rizzi on Flickr
Image by Leonardo Rizzi on Flickr

Just before the FCC meets on Thursday to unveil proposed rules in regard to how the Internet is regulated, advocates around the country are gathering to protest the FCC’s plan to end net neutrality.

Members from MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and Free Press will gather outside FCC regional offices in 24 cities nationwide to demonstrate their opposition for a proposed plan that would allow broadband providers to sell faster access to their customers.

A protest is scheduled outside the Seattle FCC office in Kirkland, Wash., for Thursday at noon.

“An open Internet levels the playing field in our democracy. That’s why it’s alarming that FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has proposed rules that would break President Obama’s promise to uphold Net Neutrality — rules that could destroy the Internet as we know it,” Victoria Kaplan, lead campaign director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said in a statement. “MoveOn members strongly support Net Neutrality and are calling on the FCC to scrap proposed rules that would undermine an open Internet.”

Recent reports note that Wheeler will propose rules that allow companies like Comcast to charge companies like Netflix for faster Internet speeds. Many see that as a significant policy change from the FCC’s earlier Open Internet Order that was struck down by an appeals court, which ruled that the FCC had overstepped its bounds in imposing net neutrality rules on Internet providers.

More than 100 companies from around the U.S. — including Amazon and Microsoft — last week published an open letter asking the FCC to avoid adopting rules that effectively end net neutrality.

“Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent,” the letter reads. “The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.”

If the FCC does indeed go forward with a plan that ends net neutrality, The Verge has a good take on what the Internet landscape may look like.

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