(CBS) — You may notice some changes to your favorite websites and online services Wednesday.
Some of the biggest tech companies in the world like Facebook and Google are protesting the Republican-led FCC’s plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules, which increased government oversight and required online service providers to treat all internet traffic the same. Without these mandates, websites could put a chokehold on downloading and streaming content speeds for some users and not others — likely the ones willing to whip out the credit cards.
Comedian John Oliver issued a call to action on net neutrality on a recent edition of Last Week Tonight.
He urged viewers to flood the Federal Communications Commission with comments to defend the regulation.
Wednesday, big name companies including Amazon, Snapchat, and Twitter all pledge their participation in a “Day of Action” where they will display special online messages to show web consumers their support for net neutrality. Companies say it could include displays like a fake slow loading screen to show users the likely outcome of slowed streaming services for those unwilling to pay up under rolled back regulations. Others plan to offer users the chance to submit their complaints to the FCC.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai claims the government agency is in favor of repealing net neutrality because the regulations have “a negative impact on businesses and decrease innovation and investment in infrastructure”.
Tech companies and websites disagree, saying without the regulations, online users rights to fair treatment and against things like censorship would be threatened.