Washington DC Braces for Net Neutrality Protests

Net neutrality advocates are planning two days of protests and action in Washington DC this month as they fight off plans to defang regulations meant to protect an open internet.

A coalition of activists, consumer groups and writers are calling on supporters to attend the next meeting of the Federal Communications Commission on 26 September in DC. On the following day, the protest will move to Capitol Hill where people will meet with their legislators to express their concerns about an FCC proposal to rewrite the rules governing the internet.

The FCC has received some 22 million comments on "Restoring Internet Freedom," the regulator's proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules put in place in 2015. Opponents argue the rule changes, proposed by the FCC's Republican chairman Ajit Pai, will pave the way for a tiered internet where internet service providers (ISPs) will be free to pick and choose winners online by giving higher speeds to those they favor or are who are willing or able to pay more.

The regulator has yet to process all those comments and is reviewing its proposals ahead of a vote that is expected later this year.

The activist groups are encouraging internet users to meet directly with their lawmakers and tell their stories about how a free and open Internet impacts their lives and their livelihoods.

Pai is a long term opponent of the current rules brought in under the Obama administration. His proposals have sparked a firestorm of protest that led to the FCC's comments system crashing under the weight of comments after comedian John Oliver ran a piece criticizing Pai on his show Last Week Tonight. The FCC has claimed it was attacked by hackers but has yet to provide evidence.

"The FCC seems dead set on killing net neutrality, but they have...

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