Amazon, Expedia, Google, Facebook, and thousands of other tech companies are showing their support for net neutrality as part of today’s Day of Action.
They’re protesting the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to roll back Obama-era protections that forbid internet providers from giving preference to some types of internet traffic. Net neutrality is a term used to describe an internet without any fast lanes or slow lanes. The protest was organized by Fight for the Future, which says more than 100,000 websites, internet users, and organizations are participating.
Seattle-area tech titans Amazon and Expedia are highlighting net neutrality on their home pages. Both link to a page with details on how to tell the FCC to protect net neutrality.
Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming platform, is promoting the day of action more prominently on its website. A bright red banner across the homepage reads, “Stop Net Neutrality rules from being repealed! Learn more about Net Neutrality and what you can do.”
Reddit goes several steps farther with a pop-up window that explains the threat of the proposed net neutrality rollback.
“Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be free and open for everyone,” Zuckerberg writes. “If a service provider can block you from seeing certain content or can make you pay extra for it, that hurts all of us and we should have rules against it.”
Politicians are also getting involved in the Day of Action. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the mayors of Boston, New York, and San Francisco, are sending a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stressing the importance of net neutrality rules.
“Individuals should be free to access the Internet without discriminatory practices applied to services and websites,” Murray said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to speak up and let the FCC know these rules should be kept in place. This is about equity and the ability for everyone to access the internet.”
Pai has been a vocal critic of net neutrality throughout his career, arguing that “the more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get.”
Last week, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) hosted a town hall in Seattle focused on the importance of net neutrality. “You’re talking about a very slippery slope,” she said.
Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the web, released a video Wednesday arguing that without net neutrality, “we lose the internet as we know it.”
The FCC is accepting public comment on its proposal to reverse net neutrality rules until July 17. Reply comments (responses to comments filed before the initial deadlines) will be accepted until August 16. To comment directly on the FCC form, follow this link and click “Express.” If you click “New Filing” you can upload documents with your thoughts.