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Protesters rally against net neutrality regulation rollback

Catherine Shaffer
Michigan Radio
Activists protest the rollback of net neutrality regulations in front of Ann Arbor's Main Street Verizon store.

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

Net neutrality regulations enacted in 2015 require that all internet traffic is treated the same by internet service providers. Once the regulations are eliminated, providers would in theory be able to block, slow down, or charge extra for access to certain web sites. 

Protestors targeted Verizon stores because Ajit Pai, the current chairman of the FCC, previously served as associate general counsel at Verizon, which has been a longtime opponent of net neutrality.

Activists charge that the FCC's move to eliminate the regulations under Pai's leadership is motivated by an interest in helping Verizon and other internet service providers make more money at the expense of a free and open internet.

Protest organizer Scott Haddlesey said, "The current administration, as well as all the ISPs such as Verizon are out to roll back that regulation in order to introduce further fees to access parts of the internet that we already have access to or just block things they don't want people to see."

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