MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The country’s largest tech companies are taking part in a day of action to preserve the open internet, protesting the FCC’s plan to roll back Obama-era rules that govern internet access.
Companies like Facebook, Google and Netflix are participating.
“Internet companies, innovative startups, and millions of internet users depend on these common-sense protections that prevent blocking or throttling of internet traffic, segmenting the internet into paid fast lanes and slow lanes, and other discriminatory practices,” Google said in a “Take Action” email.
The open internet, the company goes on to say, has become an “unrivaled source of choice, competition, innovation, free expression, and opportunity” and should “stay that way.”
The rules, adopted in 2015, increased government oversight and required online service providers to treat all internet traffic the same — prohibiting the slowing or blocking of specific websites’ content.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said net neutrality will stifle innovation for the next generation.
“Reddit, twelve years ago, was two recent college grads in an apartment. Steve (Huffman) and I had nothing going for us other than a great idea and some laptops, and we were able to build something today that is one of the ten most-trafficked sites in the United States,” he said. “We want to keep that opportunity available for the next generation of entrepreneurs and we don’t want our internet to start looking like our television/cable. We don’t wanna have tiered access. We don’t wanna have all the things that have really stifled innovation and other industries. We want tech to continue to flourish, even if that means promoting things that are really in the best interest of the internet and maybe not ourselves.”
Netflix joked about streaming slowdown for one of its hottest shows, “Stranger Things.”
Earlier this year, the Republican-led FCC voted to start changing net neutrality rules.
Internet pioneer, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web and runs the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994, asked, “Do you want a web where the cable companies control the winners and losers online?”
For more info on how to help, go to: https://netneutrality.internetassociation.org/action/