NET-NEU­TRAL­ITY SUP­PORT­ERS SAY RALLY IS FIRST SALVO

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - — Los Angeles Times

» Some of the web’s big­gest names — Ama­zon, Google, Net­flix and Twit­ter — joined thou­sands of smaller web­sites Wed­nes­day in urg­ing users to tell Washington to leave the in­ter­net the way it is.

On web­site ban­ners, pop-up wid­gets, blog posts and videos, web com­pa­nies said that could only be ac­com­plished by keep­ing tough net neu­tral­ity rules for on­line traf­fic in place in the face of a push by Repub­li­cans and in­ter­net ser­vice providers to dis­man­tle them.

Net neu­tral­ity sup­port­ers said the “day of ac­tion” was the first ma­jor salvo of what they promised would be a long bat­tle in­volv­ing the Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, the courts and pos­si­ble con­gres­sional leg­is­la­tion over the fate of the con­tro­ver­sial rules.

“The In­ter­net’s less fun when your fa­vorite sites load slowly, isn’t it?” be­gan a mes­sage that popped up on dis­cus­sion fo­rum site Red­dit’s home page on Wed­nes­day.

To high­light the fear that un­leashed broad­band providers could slow speeds for some con­tent, the four-sen­tence mes­sage ap­peared one char­ac­ter at a time. It ended by urg­ing peo­ple to “tell the FCC that you sup­port the open In­ter­net.”

Ajit Pai, the Repub­li­can FCC chair­man, wants to re­peal the agency’s Open In­ter­net rules that were adopted when it was un­der Demo­cratic con­trol in 2015.

The FCC’s tough reg­u­la­tory frame­work, op­posed by in­ter­net ser­vice providers, is de­signed to en­sure the un­fet­tered flow of con­tent.

The rules use util­ity-like over­sight un­der Ti­tle 2 of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions law to pro­hibit broad­band com­pa­nies from slow­ing speeds for video streams and other con­tent, sell­ing faster lanes for de­liv­er­ing data or other­wise dis­crim­i­nat­ing against any le­gal on­line ma­te­rial.

“This is the be­gin­ning of an his­toric fight for the in­ter­net, and the peo­ple in our coun­try are go­ing to win against th­ese broad­band giants,” Sen. Ed­ward J. Markey, DMass., said dur­ing a rally with other Demo­cratic law­mak­ers out­side the U.S. Capi­tol on Wed­nes­day.

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