Update 15/02/2017: With a 3-2 majority, the FCC repeals Net Neutrality granting to broadband companies the right to reshape the internet.
On 14 December the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will vote to repeal Net Neutrality rules, which prohibit internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites. Under these rules internet providers can’t intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content. Thursday FCC is going to change this in a historical vote.
One week ago, hundreds of protests were staged across the country on in the latest uproar over a repeal of rules ensuring an open internet. People, along with many companies and non-profit organisation, are also protesting through internet channels, of course.
Among the corporations and the communities which raise voices and are working to drive calls and messages to Congress for stopping the FCC and to support a free and open internet, there are Reddit, GitHub, Pinterest, PornHub, Tumblr, Mozilla, Kickstarter (on Break the Internet page).
In those days many website altered their appearance and urged visitors to contact members of Congress in an attempt to stop the vote. Fight for Future, a non-profit organisation whose “mission is to ensure that the web continues to hold freedom of expression and creativity at its core”, is protesting from months and the founders, Tiffiniy Cheng and Holmes Wilson, have pushed their supporters to flood social media sites with warnings about how the change could favour big companies and hurt smaller ones.
In addition to this, a group of internet pioneers have called on the Senate’s FCC oversight committee to censure next week’s net neutrality vote. The group includes people like Steven Bellovin, a chief technologist who helped develop Usenet, Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Steve Wozniak, Brewster Kahle, John Borthwick.
The block of dissidents is big and unite but other people have a different opinion. Recode’s Michael Powell thinks the vote will not represent a treat to internet as “ISPs highly value the open internet and the principles of net neutrality because it’s a better way of making money than a closed internet”.