"Right now, when you pay your internet service provider, you're paying for access to the entire internet".
Verizon Wireless and AT&T joined today's "Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality" organized by nonprofit Fight for the Future, surprising a number of industry watchers after spending significant resources to oppose a major element of the rules adopted by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the former Obama administration. Without these mandates, websites could put a chokehold on downloading and streaming content speeds for some users and not others - likely the ones willing to whip out the credit cards.
"Net neutrality is something we all strongly support, and ISPs are committed to modern rules that protect the universally-embraced principles of no blocking, no throttling and no slow lanes", said Spalter, the last a reference to the no paid prioritization rule. "Please go to battleforthenet.com and tell the FCC that you support the open internet".
Websites based in the USA may be forced to change their content as their audience could have limited access to their services depending on how ISPs handle a move away from net neutrality, says ArsTechnica. If this becomes law, internet service providers can extract a premium from content providers. The ACLU had a large pop-up reading "Trump's FCC wants to kill net neutrality".
"No one wants their cable company to control what they can see and do on the internet, or to charge extra fees to access the content they want", said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, one of the leading organisations behind the protest.
"Not only is this good for political speech, but this is the main economic engine behind the internet", he said. People across the country will head to their representatives' offices tonight to demand they stand strong for net neutrality.
But two years later the new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is trying to overturn the 2015 rules.
Karr said that internet users have taken "hundreds of thousands of actions", like contacting the FCC.
This has prompted a 90-day period in which members of the public can comment on the proposed rules up until July 17. While the FCC argues regulation hurts innovation, the organizers of the protest-which includes messages on participating websites-accuse the FCC of caving to "lobbyists from telecom companies in pursuit of more power".
While pirates may have helped to get the ball rolling, they're no longer a player in the current net neutrality debate. The FCC will be open to comments on Monday regarding its just-published proposal.