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Why debate over net neutrality affects everyone

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Amazon and Netflix are among the major internet organisations joining a day of protest against the US FCC

Major broadband providers, including AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, acknowledged the public support for Net neutrality.

Opponents of Net Neutrality have also advocated "fast lanes" and "slow lanes". From a business perspective, limitations on what pages people can access could ultimately lead to fewer people viewing certain pages.

Campaigners told the BBC around 80,000 websites and services in all are taking part in the co-ordinated action that is created to draw attention to a public consultation about the proposed rule reversal.

Net neutrality, which some have described as the "first amendment of the internet", is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone's data equally - whether that's an email from your mother, an episode of House of Cards on Netflix or a bank transfer.

But Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page will not be marching outside FCC headquarters with protest signs. "There is a long history of these companies engaging in serious net neutrality violations and abusing their monopoly power as internet providers". The move, which critics charge will fundamentally undermine consumer privacy in the United States, overturned rules drawn up by the FCC that would have given people more control over their personal data.

It's a strong position from one of the tech industry's most prominent leaders. Amazon had a little ad. Reddit displayed a digital message.

Visitors to dozens of major websites were seeing a special message about the future of the internet Wednesday, part of a broad campaign by the companies to stop what they say is a threat to the web as most consumers know it.

The point here is to demonstrate what throttled internet speeds could look for users like if net neutrality protections are rolled back.

Google released a public policy blog post to rally support across the nation in defense of Net Neutrality: "We hope you'll make your voice heard".

The largest telecommunications company in the world said it will join the protest to preserve and advance an open internet, according to a blog post written by AT&T Senior Executive VP Bob Quinn on Tuesday. "And it should stay that way", Google writes.

This action will reportedly put big cable giants in control of what web users see and do online as it allows companies that can afford to pay the ISP to strip away service for local households and carry more bandwidth to themselves. When you head to the Amazon home page and scroll down a ways, you'll notice a small section to the right that reads "Net Neutrality?"

US President Donald Trump's appointed FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has expressed an intent to either deregulate or not enforce Obama-era rules, sparking the demonstration on Wednesday.

It also noted that you now "don't have to be a big shot to compete" - a reality that could change for smaller companies if net neutrality laws are rolled back.

If we don't win this particular battle, legal action could potentially derail Pai's plans before they officially take effect. Clicking on this will take you to the Internet Association's page on net neutrality.

NOTE: The volume of participation was so high that the FCC has been "rate limiting" submissions into their docket - there are an enormous number of comments queued up that will be submitted into their system before the July 17 deadline, as fast as their system can handle them. It's a slightly different protest, and a little freaky, but it certainly sends a message.

"If a new company can't access companies on the same terms as the incumbents they're not going to have the chance to thrive".

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