This Wednesday, September 10, you can show the world how you feel about a free and open Internet that’s available to all, with no “fast lanes” giving better access to those with the thickest wallets.
The symbolic “Internet Slowdown” day of action will give Web visitors a taste of what cyberspace would be like if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were allowed to charge more for faster access, gave favored treatment to content providers that pay more, or even censored those whose opinions or ideas the ISPs dislike. It also will serve as a reminder that we have until the end of business on September 15 – the final day for the latest round of public comments — to tell the Federal Communications Commission what we think about Net neutrality.
According to a press release from the media reform groups Free Press Action Fund and Fight for the Future, “Internet Slowdown organizers are urging website owners — from the smallest blogs to the largest online platforms — to participate in the day of action. They can do so by displaying ‘widgets’ available at https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/ that will make it easy for site visitors to submit comments to the FCC. The widgets also display the revolving icon used to symbolize slowly loading content to illustrate how the loss of Net Neutrality would harm websites and other online services.”
(Not to worry — the icon will not actually slow Internet service — just remind everyone of what might happen if the FCC abandons an Open Internet).
There are lots of other actions you can take on September 10 — such as changing your Twitter or Facebook profile photos to the slowdown icon for the day. If you’ve designed an app for mobile phones, you can send a push notification to your users. There’s plenty more, which you can learn about at BattlefortheNet.com.
Other actions this month will include rallies in New York and Philadelphia on Monday, September 15; a rally outside the FCC in Washington on September 16; and lobbying days at the FCC and on Capitol Hill September 16-18.
The goal: get the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a “common carrier,” a telecommunications service required to deliver all content at equal speeds.
Listen to this report from NPR’s On the Media.