Major tech firms join Internet Slowdown on September 10

Summary:Well-known technology firms are joining the campaign which aims to secure the future of net neutrality.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.09.16

A number of well-known companies have pledged their support for the Internet Slowdown on September 10.

However, there's no need to panic -- your Internet speeds will remain unchanged.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.50.02

Instead, companies supporting the campaign will display a Battle For The Net emblem, widget or banner which shows a revolving icon -- the proverbial "spinning wheel of death" -- on their websites. The campaign is supported by nonprofit groups including Fight for the Future and Demand Progress.

Battle For The Net's Internet Slowdown day is scheduled five days before the US Federal Communications Commission's comment period on fresh Internet regulations comes to a close. The FCC is currently redrafting its rules, following legal challenges by telecommunications firms and content providers. While a number of different proposals are being considered, at the crux of this campaign is net neutrality -- treating all traffic in the same way -- or opening the door for potential fast-lane traffic and preferential treatment, which could be offered by ISPs for additional profit.

While this may become an additional revenue stream for ISPs, critics worry this would undermine websites and companies unable to afford premium services, which could in turn impact on Web innovation and equality as their traffic may be reduced by being part of the 'slow lane.'

Over one million comments have been sent to the FCC in regards to the issue, and reports suggest only a small fraction oppose net neutrality.

In a blog post, Silicon Valley lobbying firm Engine revealed a long list of supporters, including Automattic, Cheezburger, Dwolla, Etsy, Foursquare, General Assembly, Kickstarter, Meetup, Mozilla, Namecheap, Reddit and Vimeo. More companies are expected to be revealed next week. The company wrote:

"A long-awaited decision from the FCC on the future of net neutrality is imminent, and we’re excited to see companies that depend on an open Internet rallying together to let the FCC know once and for all that an Internet with fast lanes and slow lanes is unacceptable."

The 'slow down' is related to how the Internet could look, should "fast lane" and preferential treatment of traffic based on corporate deals be allowed, according to critics.

In a Reddit thread, Pornhub, Redtube and Youporn also revealed their websites are supporting the protest.

If individuals wish to support the Internet Slowdown campaign, they are encouraged by Battle For The Net to change their Twitter profile pictures to the revolving wheel on September 10.

Read on: In the world of innovation

Topics: Broadband, Browser, Censorship, Innovation

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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