In exactly one week from today, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a historic vote to roll back Obama-era regulations that ensure telecoms companies respect the free and open nature of the internet. Unlike legislative votes, concerned citizens — that is, anyone who uses the internet and enjoys choice — can’t call their local senator to give an opinion. But that doesn’t mean your voice can’t be heard.
For lack of anything better, protests are being organized nationwide outside Verizon stores. Verizon is far from the only telecoms company to support the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality regulations, but its national footprint — plus the fact that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verizon lawyer — means it’s a good place to start.
Protests are being held at over 500 Verizon stores across the country. While some protests have already started, the bulk appear to be organized to start after work, around 5PM. If you’re busy today, some protests also appear to be happening this Saturday.
The FCC vote to repeal Title II classification for telecoms companies is scheduled for Thursday, December 14th. The FCC announced its plan — which would basically give all telecoms regulation duties to the FTC, an organization poorly-equipped to deal with the telecoms companies — early this year, and the public comments section has been open since then. Over 23 million comments were submitted to the FCC, but allegations of fraud and fake comments have destroyed the integrity of that process, enabling the FCC to ignore public feedback.