Portlanders protest possible end to net neutrality

Protesters rally against net neutrality regulation rollback

Protesters hope to generate awareness about what, they call, severe repercussions of rollbacks regarding Net neutrality.

The Internet is on the verge of changing, and people around the country - including Portlanders - are not happy about it.

Net Neutrality is what we all know today.

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If adopted, the new rules would reverse current regulations that require Internet service providers to give equal treatment to all websites. It only further propels the rich, while those on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder suffer. We want Chairman Pai to know and the other FCC members that net neutrality is a taxpayer industry and it should stay free and open.

Without net neutrality, these corporations could cut off access to websites they - or the United States government, which through the NSA has historically been tied to telecom companies - deem inappropriate for the public to read, just like in North Korea or China. With the large cable and phone companies calling the shots on Internet freedom, local businesses will have a harder time being noticed online, and those that can not afford higher priced packages won't have the same Internet experiences that the privileged few will enjoy. Mr. Owen expects that whatever happens, net neutrality will be ended. If one were to take note of the ever-increasing rate at which innovations have been made in social media, smartphone apps, and computing, then how could one say that the very regulations that keep the internet open are a detriment to progress? It affects all areas of the Internet, and in our increasingly technologically-dependent world, it therefore affects us all.

Approximately 20 protestors were outside the Verizon Store on Mangrove in Chico Thursday morning in advance of next week's vote by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal its net neutrality regime.

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