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Internet Slowdown Protest Planned to Support Net Neutrality

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As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) evaluates some million-plus comments and questions from U.S. citizens on the issue of net neutrality, an online protest is planned.

On September 10, organizers hope that as many websites as possible will participate in the protest by displaying a symbolic “site loading” icon on their home pages, in order to “remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like, and drive record numbers of emails and calls to lawmakers,” according to Battleforthenet.com.

Displaying the icon won’t actually slow the sites, but will alert visitors to the importance of the issue and pushing back against the possibility of a “two-tier” system, in which higher speeds would be available only to those who paid extra for them. Push notifications for application owners, icons for Twitter photo replacement and other images are also available in support of the cause. NewsFactor and other sites report that major sites Reddit, Mozilla, Kickstarter, Wordpress and Foursquare have committed to participating in the protest.

The FCC’s open comment period on net neutrality, or “2014 Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and “Framework for Broadband Internet Access Service Refreshing the Record Public Notice,” has been extended to September 15.

Evan Greer, campaign manager at Fight for the Future, one of the organizations advocating for an open Internet, told NewsFactor that the ultimate goal is for the FCC to reclassify broadband as a utility, “Reclassification is the only true path to meaningful net neutrality.”

And Mashable checked out other reclassification supporters, including the “Don’t Break the Internet” campaign, that are very active in the run-up to the end of the public comment period.

Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

 

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