They are working the halls of congress and taking to the streets in what looks like the start of the final push to save network neutrality.
While a number of observers are fearing that the upcoming network neutrality repeal vote will lead to an exodus of innovation, some are still fighting to stop the repeal from happening in the first place.
The names of the people who are leading the latest push are quite big. They include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf. According to USA Today they sent a latter to both Senators and congressmen urging them to do something to stop the repeal. From the report:
That vote, expected to take place at the agency’s monthly meeting, the signers say, “would repeal key network neutrality protections that prevent Internet access providers from blocking content, websites and applications, slowing or speeding up services or classes of service, and charging online services for access or fast lanes to Internet access providers’ customers.”
the 21 Internet experts are concerned that rules written to replace the current ones are based “on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology,” they say in the letter.
The letter signers also mentioned “major problems” the FCC had with its online comment system. The FCC received 23 million comments on the issue of net neutrality, but millions of them were fake submissions — with both sides of the issue hit. And nearly a half-million comments came from Russian email addresses.
Congress should cancel the agency’s vote, the experts say, because the FCC’s “rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create.”
Meanwhile, protesters are continuing the push to save the Internet on the streets. According to a report on The Rocky Mountain Collegian, protesters took to the streets in Denver to voice their concerns about the repeal of network neutrality. From the report:
“President Trump and Trump-appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai … want to take us back to the dark ages of intellectual thought, so that a few corporations can control what we read, what we say, what we think,” Shaffer said during the protest.
With his background as an educator, Shaffer emphasized the necessity of internet access within education and spoke widely on student reliance on open access to credible sources of information.
“Today, Dec. 9, is the internet’s Independence Day,” Shaffer said. “So, I say keep the internet free.”
Krisher disagreed with the argument that repealing net neutrality will change little of the internet access already established.
“If you follow the money, the chairman of the FCC is a former Verizon lawyer,” Krisher said. “They may argue that everything would be the same, but it’s a rule that’s being removed, so how will we stop abuse if there is no rule?”
Randy Chase, a Denver activist and one of the protest coordinators, said the greatest impact of the net neutrality repeal would be on rural areas, specifically those who have only one internet service provider in the area.
Meanwhile, Ajit Pai, FCC chairman, recently found himself into even more controversy. According to reports like that found in Fortune, Pai joked about how he is a puppet for Verizon and how there are only a few days left to use the Internet before the repeal vote happens. Internet supporters have blasted the jokes as being tone deaf.