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Internet giants may launch grassroots campaign to save net neutrality

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may have just woken two of the Internet’s largest dragons.

Netflix, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet giants represented by the Internet Association trade group are considering grassroots campaigns to fight against net neutrality regulations that would allow Internet service providers to speed up access to certain websites and online services. the Wall Street Journal reports.

On May 15, the FCC will decide to reinstate laws that would “allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers,” the New York Times reports.

Netflix and Google join the likes of Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who believes such regulations will allow Internet providers to discriminate against companies unwilling or unable to open their wallets for this faster lane.

Ohanian is trying to raise $20,000 to set up a billboard outside the FCC officers in protest. As of Thursday morning, he’s raised $10,156, with 15 days left to go.

In a popular thread Wednesday night on Reddit's r/technology forum, Reddit general manager Erik Martin (hueypriest) stated that the company is “ working on something for May 15th with some of the other groups and companies involved.”

It has been more than two years since Reddit helped lead the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), two pieces of legislation that threatened to cripple the open Internet. Thanks to the efforts of Ohanian, Wikipedia, and hundreds of other Web properties, both provisions failed to pass.  

Photo by swruler9284/Flickr (CC By 2.0)