June 12th is slated to be the latest, and largest, day of online protests, with thousands of websites fighting the FCC in order to keep the net neutrality laws in place. Several larger businesses, like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), have also pledged their support and are expected to have pop ups and banners posted on their homepages.
Wednesday’s Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality will be the largest public backlash against the FCC and is intended to send a strong message to Chairman Ajit Pai amongst concerns that he intends to severely roll back the protection sites have against being “cabelized.” The idea that internet providers could pick and choose which sites would be slowed down or boosted has gone down very poorly amongst the internet population, as well as smaller sites like Vimeo, which must compete against the likes of Youtube which has long cornered the market, “I don’t want independent filmmakers to have to worry about things that cable companies could do to disadvantage their content” said Jamie Dubs, co-founder of VHX. The fear is that premium sites like Youtube would gain access to higher speeds, so why would anyone use anything but?
With thousands of websites, including Amazon and Reddit, participating in the Day of Action, expectations are high that the amount of public concern will weigh on Pai’s decision, however the board has taken a strong stance with Commissioner Mike O’Reily saying, "Thankfully, our rulemaking proceeding is not decided like a Dancing With The Stars contest, since counts of comments submitted have only so much value. Instead of operating in economics-free zone where the benefits of the rules are assumed to outweigh any cost, commenters will need to provide evidence to support their arguments that the rules are or are not needed." Yet there is still hope that the emergence of big players like Google will help assuage the trigger happy FCC.