Dozens of prominent technology firms including stalwarts such as Google, Facebook, Reddit, AirBnB, Twitter, and Amazon have united on July 13, 2017 to join an online protest against the proposed rollback of the U.S. net neutrality rules. The landmark rule upholding the net neutrality was implemented by the Federal Government, headed by Barrack Obama, in 2015.
More than 80,000 websites and services, including several big social media platforms and streaming services, have joined hands in an effort to oppose to what they call stifling of the basic equality of all internet traffic.
Move by Federal Communications Commission to Reverse 2015 Net Neutrality Rule
The sites partaking in the protest are displaying banners, ads, alerts, and a variety of simulated messages that espouse the 2015 net neutrality rule and protest the rollback. Among other websites vehemently protesting the move involve globally prominent crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and craft-selling a peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy.
The rule reversal is spearheaded by Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which is an independent agency of the U.S. Government. The landmark rule opposed any prioritization of internet data and included several measures that prevented tech giants, especially large service providers, to have an unregulated control over the Internet.
Campaigners Oppose Large Service Providers to Have Unjustified Control over Internet
One of the key rules prohibited broadband service providers selling access to the internet services providers of their choice. The rule reversal if done will lead to the creation of “fast lanes” resulting in an indiscriminate control in the hands of content providers that can pay more than others, believes the campaigners. As a result, incumbents companies can’t thrive on the same terms as the established ones, various pro-net neutrality groups opine.
On the other hand, opponents of the net neutrality argue that net neutrality is no more in the favor of “open internet”, but stifles innovative spirit and tends to discourage future infrastructural investments in the telecom sector.
Telecom giants, such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., have lauded the massive public support for net neutrality.