Backlash is response to proposed removal of net neutrality regulations.
Just in time for the Federal Communication Commission to destroy the internet for US users, a mass protest intends to beat them to it…literally. The FCC is voting on December 14th to strip away the net neutrality regulations that were put in place under the Obama administration under pressure from telecom companies who want to charge more for tiered internet access. These regulations dictate that telecom companies cannot charge different rates for different consumer access or to the internet, or charge web platforms more for higher speeds and visibility.
At least in the US, daily life has reached a point where internet access is on par with having electric service or water and sewage service to a home. Public schools use the ‘net to communicate with parents, individuals use it to find employment, financial institutions use it for consumer banking, and so much more. But imagine having to pay an additional fee to access your child’s school’s Facebook page, or to use your mobile wallet at checkout.
The concern is compounded due to the telecom monopoly in the US. This legal “you have no choice” game has been in place for a while, preventing cable companies from competing for subscribers. If you live in X city, for example, your cable telecom provider is already determined. There are some choices in the satellite and cellular provider space, but nothing in terms of cable access.
Break The Internet
Now, protestors have planned a mass “break the internet” protest to show the FCC just how bad ripping away net neutrality will be. There are some big dogs in the game, too, names like Reddit, PornHub, Trello, and a host of other platforms. Websites and apps are also involved, with plans to disrupt their websites on the day of the protest, and a Break The Internet app has been developed that will auto-tweet every few minutes for 48 hours, starting on December 12th.
Wait…what day? December 12th? As in, the day that Alabama voters go to the polls to prevent accused child molester and twice-removed judge Roy Moore from taking a seat in the Senate? Of course. It’s hard to think that mere protest is behind this, and it’s all too easy to fall for a conspiracy theory that aims to take down social media and other websites when one of the most important local elections in history is taking place.
There is a safer alternative, provided by late night talk show host John Oliver. Rather than destroying our collective nice thing, just destroy the FCC’s website to demonstrate the outrage of the public and ineptitude of the government agency.