Technology companies are joining forces on Wednesday to bring even more public awareness to the issues surrounding net neutrality. Sites all over the web are showing a page load symbol to symbolize slower traffic and support the Internet Slowdown Day campaign on Sept. 10. The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) deadline for response comments is Sept. 15. Speed of participating sites is not affected, the campaign is purely symbolic.
Participating companies include Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit and Namecheap, among many others. Google sent a pro-net neutrality to an email list of 2 million people.
The day was organized by FightFortheFuture.org, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund and Engine Advocacy. According to its site, Fight For the Future is “dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people. Alongside internet users everywhere we beat back attempts to limit our basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests.”
“The Internet is united against the FCC’s Net Neutrality-killing proposal,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “Today we’ll see the Internet slow down as millions of people rise up against this threat to our rights to connect and communicate.”
The organizations believe net neutrality can best be preserved under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act giving the FCC the ability to regulate broadband carriers and make them subject to Title II, subsection 2020 that states common carriers can’t “make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.”
The importance of becoming involved now, before new legislation and regulations are passed was stated very well by battleforthenet.com. “We realize it’s a big ask, but this is the kind of bad internet legislation that comes along (or gets this close to passing) once a decade or so. If it passes we’ll be kicking ourselves for decades—every time a favorite site gets relegated to the slow lane, and every time we have to rework or abandon a project because of the uncertain costs paid prioritization creates. Doing the most we can right now seems like the only rational step.”