If you were planning a visit to your local Verizon outlet today, there’s something you should know: “Team Internet”, a coalition of the activist groups Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press, is planning a national day of action at Verizon stores around the country. Participants will be protesting the FCC’s planned repeal of net neutrality protections in the United States.
On November 21st FCC Chief Ajit Pai formally revealed plans to reverse the commission’s 2015 net neutrality order, more specifically the Title II protections for broadband and mobile Internet traffic. The worry is that without Title II there will be nothing to stop Internet service providers from prioritizing, for example, their own video streaming services over Netflix or YouTube. Pai, on the other hand, claims that Title II has stifled innovation and investment in network infrastructure.
The FCC will vote on Pai’s plan on December 14th; the repeal is expected to go through with commissioners voting 3 for and 2 against, along party lines. What today’s protests are expected to accomplish beyond raising awareness is unclear. Depending on where you stand on this issue it could be either a minor annoyance or something you’ll very much want to be a part of.