When it comes to broadband speeds, the U.S. still ranks far behind Internet powerhouses like South Korea and Japan (not to mention Latvia). And in many parts of the country, there’s no access at all — or just sloth-like dial-up.
This situation couldn’t get worse, right? Wrong. If the FCC signs off on Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Net Neutrality-killing plan to allow discrimination online, much of what we love about the Internet will be relegated to the slow lane, regardless of how we connect. That’s why the Free Press Action Fund has teamed up with Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy and Fight for the Future to organize the Internet Slowdown — which could become one of the biggest online protests of all time (step aside, SOPA).
On Sept. 10, the sites for dozens of major tech companies and thousands of organizations will display a slow-loading icon to give people a taste of what the Internet could look like without Net Neutrality. Clicking the icons will take Internet users to a series of actions at battleforthenet.com/september10th. The main push: to get Congress to stand up for the open Internet — and to get Wheeler to drop his proposal.
Among the many companies participating are Cheezburger, Etsy, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Netflix and reddit. A diverse range of public interest organizations representing more than 10 million people is also on board; participants include the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, the Harry Potter Alliance, MoveOn and the Sierra Club.
You can take part too — by displaying these widgets on your site and spreading news about the day of action on social media.
Here are some sample tweets:
And here are some graphics you can share on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter:
The Internet Slowdown will run for 24 hours … and just a few days after that you can take your passion for Net Neutrality to the streets. On Sept. 15 — the day final comments on Wheeler’s plan are due — Free Press is holding big lunchtime rallies in New York City and Philadelphia. You can also organize a rally in your own community — check out our user-friendly toolkit to get started.
Whether you take action online or off, the movement to save the open Internet needs you. Check out the Internet Slowdown on Sept. 10, rally to your heart’s content on Sept. 15 and stay in the Free Press loop for info about upcoming opportunities to speak out.