Facebook, Google, Netflix take part in United States net neutrality 'day of action'

Posted July 12, 2017

Companies participating will display prominent messages on their homepages on July 12 or encourage users to take action in other ways, such as through push notifications and emails. Several larger businesses, like Alphabet Inc. Net neutrality is often defined by three tenets: that internet service providers can not block access to any content, throttle or slow a connection, or offer paid prioritization to companies or services who are willing to pay for preferential treatment.

"It made a decision to slap an old regulatory framework called "Title II" - originally designed in the 1930s for the Ma Bell telephone monopoly - upon thousands of internet service providers, big and small". The fear is that premium sites like Youtube would gain access to higher speeds, so why would anyone use anything but?

The FCC is now in its public comment period before finalizing its decision on loosening the rules. Yet there is still hope that the emergence of big players like Google will help assuage the trigger happy FCC.

But Snapchat hasn't been silent on the importance of net neutrality for its business.

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President Donald Trump had appointed India-origin Ajit Pai to head the powerful FCC, the U.S. communications regulatory agency.The advocacy groups are urging tech companies and others to oppose Pai's plan to gut the net neutrality order which was issued in 2015.

They are all actively opposing the Federal Communication Commission's plan to scale back Title II, the legal framework for net neutrality rules enacted in 2011.

This was "all about politics" said Mr Pai before arguing that the increased regulatory burden was reducing investment in broadband infrastructure.

According to Sky News, opponents of the bill often claim to support net neutrality, asserting that Title II and net neutrality are not the same thing.

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Where net neutrality stands: Under the Open Internet Order enacted by the FCC in 2015, internet providers can not block access to content on websites or apps, interfere with loading speeds, or provide favoritism to those who pay extra. The investigation was shut down by the Trump administration in early February, less than one month after taking office.Day of ActionDespite the resources devoted to the rollback by the big internet service providers, net neutrality advocates haven't been totally bereft of support in the nation's capital.

This is in keeping with recent public polling on the issue, which shows a strong majority of people support Net Neutrality protections.

The fight for a neutral internet has serious consequences for the future of streaming video.

When Amazon, Facebook, Google and a chorus of startups and activists commence a massive online protest Wednesday to defend net neutrality, they'll be joined by a company they don't exactly believe is on their side: AT&T. There's a possibility that suit may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but the FCC has a chance before then to repeal the net neutrality rules.

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"Tomorrow, AT&T will join the "Day of Action" for preserving and advancing an open Internet", AT&T Senior Executive VP Bob Quinn wrote in a blog post this afternoon.