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Protesters gather in the Valley to save net neutrality

Posted at 2:18 PM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-07 21:13:41-05

Protests are gathering around the country, and in the Valley, to try and save net neutrality.

Protesters gathered Thursday morning at a Verizon store in Surprise. Other events were planned at Senator John McCain's office and at Tempe Marketplace.

Net neutrality rules were put into place during the Obama administration - the rules allow for free and open internet. 

"We need free access and that's what net neutrality gives us today is free access," said Christopher Oloughin, a proponent of net neutrality.

Protesters say they decided to target Verizon stores because the store's former attorney, Ajit Pai, is the FCC Chairman looking to change Obama's rules.

Verizon issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

Like those expressing their views today, Verizon fully supports an open Internet and believe consumers should be able to use it to access lawful content when, where, and how they want. We've publicly committed to that before and we stand by that commitment today.

"I absolutely rely on people having fast internet into their households, if they change it so they can block certain websites, or competitors or certain websites have preference than my business will go down the toilet," said Daniel Kapinga.

Kapinga runs a gaming site and told ABC15 that 70 percent of his customers are in the US because there are no internet restrictions.

"In some places in the world they already have this kind of control where people can't go to my website because their ISP is blocked because it's treading on a competitors market," said Kapinga.

The FCC's website says, "the proposal returns a longstanding light-touch regulatory framework for the Internet and restoring the market-based policies necessary to preserve the future of Internet Freedom."

It says the proposal is designed to:

  • Reinstate the "information service" classification of broadband Internet access service first established on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton Administration.
  • Restore the determination that mobile broadband is not a "commercial mobile service" subject to heavy-handed regulation.
  • Restore the authority of the nation's most experienced cop on the privacy beat – the Federal Trade Commission – to police the privacy practices of ISPs.