Major websites join net neutrality 'Day of Action'

- There’s a massive online protest underway, aimed at protecting the quality of internet service in the U.S.

You might have seen the notices on some of your favorite websites dedicating July 12 as a "Day of Action" for net neutrality. It's one of those phrases that sounds technical and boring but affects everyday life when it comes to the quality of what you can load, stream and see online.

More than 80,000 websites have joined the protest; Amazon, Facebook, and Google are some of the big names calling out the FCC’s plans to reverse net neutrality.

Under the Obama administration, rules were put in place to ensure internet service providers, such as Comcast, and AT&T, treat all internet content equally. The current law says they're not allowed to block content, speed up, or slow down data transfers from certain websites.

President Trump's appointed head of the FCC voted to reverse those rules.

Let’s go over some different scenarios of how this could downgrade your download.

If a provider like Comcast or AT&T wants you to watch their streaming TV service instead of someone else's - like Netflix or Hulu - under the new law they could actually slow down a competing service so much it frustrates you to use them. Or they could speed up their own service so you choose them every time.

They can also charge competitors more for faster access to reach you, which could drive up the price of those services.

Similarly, they can charge you more for faster service, as well.

So what is the FCC's argument for removing the rules? In the same way that consumers say broadband providers shouldn't get to decide their online content options - the providers argue the government shouldn’t get to decide how we provide service.

It’s a control thing. One thing you can control is making your voice on the issue heard.

If you have an opinion on net neutrality, you can submit a comment to the FCC. Consumer Reports provides this link to help: https://consumersunion.org/netneutrality/#story-form.

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