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PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Protesters gathered outside Verizon stores across South Florida Thursday, demanding net neutrality regulations stay.
They’re fighting against a proposed move by the FCC that would seriously change the internet as we know it.
“If net neutrality is gutted, that means there will be two different lanes on the internet,” said Tim Canova. “There will be a fast lane and slow lane. Those who can pay will get on the fast lane and everyone else will be stuck in the slow lane.”
Canova, a Democratic candidate for District 23, organized the protest at the Verizon store in Pembroke Pines.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is moving to roll back the Obama-era net neutrality regulations, was an attorney for Verizon, hence the location of the protests.
Two years ago, the Obama Administration mandated that all traffic on the internet should be treated the same.
But consider this: Comcast’s Xfinity is the largest broadband provider in the country, and they own all the cables and infrastructure that brings the internet to your house. They also own NBC. So with net neutrality rules out the window, that means companies like Comcast could choose to prioritize their content over everybody else’s. That means your Netflix and chill, could be more like Netflix and wait.
Pai released his plans Thursday to kill net neutrality, saying it was a “mistake” that “depressed investment.”
The protests against the FCC vote schedule for Dec. 14 stretch against across the country.
“Verizon has been central to this attempt to kill net neutrality, millions of dollars in lobbying and their former top lawyer is now heading the Federal Communication Commission,” Canova said. “And [Pai] is gonna try to engineer this to a close 3-2 vote.”
Verizon released a statement, which read, in part:
“We’re very encouraged… the FCC will… restore the successful light-touch regulatory framework for Internet services.”
If the FCC gets rid of net neutrality, which looks like it will happen, then the word on Capitol Hill is that congressional Democrats will fight this one in the courts.