LA City Council opposes the FCC's possible destruction of net neutrality

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Ann Arbor activists joined protestors nationwide today to speak out against the FCC's planned rollback of net neutrality rules.

"The existing situation is good", said Wendi A. Haugh, associate professor of anthropology at St. Lawrence University, who was one of the protest organizers.

The FCC is expected to vote Thursday on a plan that would dismantle regulations put in place by the Obama administration that requires all internet traffic be treated by service providers equally. The argument centers around net neutrality-whether or not all the data passing through a network should be considered equal. In fact, net neutrality prevents regulation of the web billion-dollar monopoly corporations like Verizon and AT&T.

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"The loss of net neutrality will disadvantage small businesses and startups, because in order to flourish, they need access to their customers, and if they are in the "slow" lane, they're not going to have the same access as larger companies who can afford to pay internet service at VIP speeds", said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the resolution with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

Opponents of net neutrality noted that its elimination has benefits including giving consumers of the Internet more options, allowing them to pare down their choices and perhaps save money in the process. "Net Neutrality is essential to our democracy".

Protesters hope to generate awareness about what, they call, severe repercussions of rollbacks regarding Net neutrality. You may have seen this Thursday's protest on Broadway. Many have come out and spoken against repealing this regulation, yet the FCC, specifically chairman Ajit Pai, continue to ignore this outrage, focusing only on the potential profit - Mr. Pai was a lawyer for Verizon, which has stated outright that if these regulations were removed, they would introduce "fast lanes" for websites that paid more and throttle the speed to websites that did not choose to pay for this service, whether due to their belief that the internet should be free to all to browse as they see fit, or because they simply can not afford to pay such a fee.