Attempts to Save Net Neutrality Seem to be Bearing Fruit
Internet was created as a means of free and unhindered source of information for the public. Recently however, Internet users and activists are starting to feel that their freedom is being taken away and something needs to be done to keep the Internet protected.
Digital rights advocacy groups like Free Press, keep organizing series of protests and letter writing campaigns to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission and the US Congress listen to their stance about keeping the Internet open and free.
Free Press is organizing a public protest to be held outside the FCC Headquarters which would coincide with the commission’s meeting to discuss plans to reinstate FCC’s Net neutrality policy. Dozens of protesters have already been camping outside FCC in turns since May 7th and will soon be joined by hundreds more.
The protests won’t be just outside on the streets, public is also being encouraged to voice their opinion online in front of their congressional representatives to make sure that Net neutrality is ultimately adopted.
All this public backlash had been due to the recent proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to reinstate Open Internet rules. Under this proposal, instead of classifying the internet as a public utility, FCC went on a new approach which would result in broadband providers given the ability to create paid prioritization services.
Because of these services, broadband providers could charge companies like Google for priority access to the Internet that would ensure their traffic arrives at its destination more quickly than it would have if not prioritized, for a fee of course. This move, while no huge threat to the big corporate giants, could result in small companies getting shut down and raising prices for consumers.
The attempts of these activists seem to be bearing fruit already seeing as how many lawmakers, tech companies and even FCC commissioners are questioning the FCC Chairman’s decision.
Ultimately on Monday, the FCC chairman buckled under the pressure and a new revised proposal is being circulated which would be voted upon on Thursday.
“Chairman Wheeler is feeling the grassroots pressure against his pay-for-prioritization proposal,” Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said in the announcement for Thursday’s protest. “He needs to abandon the flimsy and failed legal approach of his predecessors and reclassify Internet service providers as the common carriers they are. If preventing fast and slow lanes on the Internet is the goal, reclassification is the way forward.”
Becky Bond, political director for CREDO a mobile service provider which has its own social activist division, says the issues regarding Net neutrality are the same as they were back in 2010, FCC presented the rules but were eventually struck down.
According to her, the public is more focused now than when they were back in the day, on standing up for their demands and making sure the FCC and Congress listen to them to protect the openness of the internet and it’s fight the activists can win.
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