Protesters set up camp outside the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on Wednesday to fight plans they say will create a two-tier internet and hand control of the web to major corporations.
The rally – reminiscent of the Occupy-style rallies that started in 2011 – started outside the FCC’s Washington headquarters at noon with protesters from Fight For the Future, Popular Resistance and others unfurling banners reading “Save the Internet”.
Protesters then announced they intend to camp out outside the FCC until 15 May when the regulator is expected to announce new rules for the internet that will formalise plans for higher speed internet for those able to pay for it.
Public interest groups have become increasingly concerned that the new rules will end “net neutrality” – the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally on the web. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has defended his plans for what he calls the “open internet”.