Amazon, Reddit, Kickstarter, and a number of other Internet heavyweights are uniting for a "day of action." The protest is designed to oppose the Federal Communications Commission, which is working to deregulate the telecom and cable industries.
On July 12, the companies and organizations will hold a digital rally where they will change their websites to raise awareness about net neutrality rules, which prevents Internet providers from blocking, slowing, or charging websites special fees to get their content in front of users. The concept centers on the fact that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by broadband providers.
"Without strong net neutrality rules, though, I'm concerned that the cable and wireless companies that control internet access will have outsized power to pick winners and losers in the market," Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, which is participating in the digital rally, said in a statement.
Debates about net neutrality became more contentious when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a proposal in April that would reverse the Title II classification of Internet service providers. That would remove regulations on big names like Comcast and Verizon and allow them to give special treatment to preferred news sites or other online content.
During that time, more than 800 startups and investors sent a letter to the FCC protesting the proposal. But the July 12 digital rally appears to be the next step for companies that oppose the chairman's moves. While the details of what the group plans to do are mostly unknown, the website for the protest says it will "make it easy for your followers and visitors to take action."