'Break the Net' Protest Planned

Fresh off the Dec. 7 protests of the FCC's planned vote next week to eliminate most net neutrality rules, protesters have called for a Dec. 12 online "Break the Internet" protest.

They don't actually want to break it. But they are taking a Web page from the SOPA/PIPA online slowdown protest, where sites appeared to operating at "breaknet" speed, which meant endlessly buffering or blacked out, and from President Barack Obama's Title II-promoting YouTube video that began with some faux buffering.

The plan is for "sites, apps, and social media feeds will appear creatively 'broken' as they might be without net neutrality protections."

The goal is to drive web surfers to this site to try and get Congress to somehow step in an stop the vote, which is almost certainly not going to happen given that Congress is busy on a tax bill and with Republican majorities that generally favor FCC chairman Ajit Pais' proposal to eliminate most net neutrality regs.

ISPs have said they would welcome congressional action in the form of legislation clarifying what the FCC's 'net neutrality regulatory authority is, including rules against blocking and throttling.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.