Nonprofit firm MapLight, which analyzes the influence of money in politics, released research noting that Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and National Cable and Telecommunications Association "have spent $572 million lobbying the federal government since 2008 on issues that include net neutrality".
"In the opinion of the Day of Action organizers, reversing Title II threatens the net-neutrality principles that today govern the internet; namely, that internet providers can not block, throttle, or unfairly prioritize content that they carry over their networks", the association blogged.
The outcome of the FCC consultation has wide-ranging consequences for the future of the internet. People across the country will head to their representatives' offices tonight to demand they stand strong for net neutrality.
Net neutrality advocates are not amused. Google Tweeted a link to a blog post. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg posted about it from their Facebook accounts. Right now, the internet is free and open, protected by FCC laws.
The FCC, under President Donald Trump's administration, is looking to remove Net Neutrality rules.
What does net neutrality mean?.
July 12 has been assigned as Net Neutrality Day in response to the possible FCC backtrack.
"Net neutrality is basically the principle that keeps the internet open", Mark Stanley from Demand Progress, one of the activist groups that organized Wednesday's day of online action, told The Guardian.
In advance of the Day of Action, IA launched a GIF-laden website explaining their perspective on net neutrality.
"It's about free and open internet and I think it's important to preserve that".
Companies like Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Google and GoDaddy publicly expressed support for the FCC's 2015 net neutrality order, which reclassified broadband as a utility service and imposed some common carrier restrictions on providers. The commission voted to move forward with the roll-back in May and is taking comments from the public until next week.
Therefore, ISPs must treat all customer data equally, reports The Guardian, with all data is sent at the same speed no matter the service. This means ISPs can not favour certain types of data from, say, Netflix, over YouTube, making it fast and easy to watch one and unbearably slow to load the other.