Menu
US net neutrality advocates plan Hungary-style protests

US net neutrality advocates plan Hungary-style protests

The protesters are taking a cue from recent protests in Hungary against Internet taxes

Protests are planned outside the White House in Washington, D.C., and at several locations across the U.S. on Thursday evening to object to leaks that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering a new "hybrid" proposal to break through the deadlock over net neutrality rules.

Taking a cue from recent protests in Hungary against an Internet tax, the demonstrators plan to hold their mobile phones, laptops, tablets and flashlights above their heads as a symbol of protest to "shine light" on alleged corruption in the federal government.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was planning a partial reclassification of broadband as a regulated utility, while not explicitly prohibiting special access deals between broadband and content companies.

By the reclassification, back-end broadband services, through which broadband providers serve as a route for Web sites to distribute content, would be classified as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act and brought under the FCC's authority, according to the report. Retail services provided to consumers by Internet service providers would not come under the reclassification.

The FCC has said that Wheeler has not decided on a net neutrality plan and added that all broadband reclassification options are under consideration.

The protests are supported by groups such as Fight for the Future, PopularResistance.org and Free Press.

The net neutrality issue came to the forefront in January this year after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit largely overruled the earlier Open Internet Order which prohibited broadband providers from blocking or unreasonably discriminating against content providers or applications for network access.

Supporters of net neutrality have been demanding that broadband in its entirety should be reclassified under Title II and regulated. The reclassification could, however, invite lawsuits from broadband companies like Verizon, which warned the FCC recently that reclassification had "significant legal vulnerabilities."

In September, net neutrality groups and companies observed Internet Slowdown Day with thousands of websites participating by showing spinning-wheel icons to mimic slow-loading sites. The aim of the protest was to convey to visitors the Internet slow lanes activists claim will appear if the FCC doesn't pass strong net neutrality regulations.

The protests on Thursday will include demonstrations at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, Federal Plaza in Chicago and at the Philadelphia headquarters of cable company Comcast, according to PopularResistance.org. Supporters who can't make it to the event are asked to take a photo of themselves holding a sign that says #RealNetNeutrality or #ReclassifyTheInternet and upload the snap to the Tell the FCC - My Voice Matters! page, according to Free Press.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags free pressPopularResistance.orgU.S. Federal Communications CommissiongovernmentinternetFight for the Future

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments