Internet Founding Fathers Join in Net Neutrality Repeal Protests

Comcast tweeted this image along with a parallel statement

Pioneers of the internet and modern technology Monday called for the Federal Communications Commission to cancel a vote this week expected to repeal net neutrality rules that protect internet traffic from discrimination.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted calls from Democrats to delay the vote, and the outcome in the Republican-leaning panel appears to be a forgone conclusion to get rid of the regulations, The Hill newspaper said.

Last week, internet users flooded the front page of Reddit with posts shaming their representatives for selling out to the telecom industry-and applauding those who have stood firm in their support for net neutrality.

A planned online protest this week has also given up on talking to the FCC and has set its sights on lawmakers in the hope that they will put pressure on Pai to abandon his plan. Repealing net neutrality would allow internet service providers ("ISPs") to restrict access to certain types of services or information at their discretion and charge local residents and businesses more to access certain websites and apps, all of which the city council is united against.

Pai's repeal proposal would scrap the Obama-era internet rules and turnover authority for broadband providers to the Federal Trade Commission, The Hill said.

"Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings".

A group of internet pioneers, though, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, has signed a letter addressed to the U.S. Senate FCC oversight committee asking them to censure this week's vote, according to the tech website The Verge.

The letter refers to the FCC's proposed Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which removes net neutrality protections introduced in 2015 to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon would treat all web content and applications equally and not throttle, block or prioritise some content in return for payment.

REM's Michael Stipe, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, and concert violinist Joshua Bell are among the 150 signatories that make the less technical but more immediate argument that "without net neutrality there will be less awesome art. Period".

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