I know it’s been quiet over here, and yes, I definitely know it’s 2 in the freaking morning (Houston time). But, this is important and can’t wait for daybreak. For those still tuned in and following the blog, I want to get the word out about this. Today, December 7, is the day for Team Internet’s protests of the planned repeal/rollback of the rules protecting net neutrality.
For those of you new to all of this, net neutrality means the equal treatment of all traffic on the Internet. It means Internet providers aren’t allowed to give preferential treatment to certain websites (particularly sites owned by the same parent company as the one providing your Internet service, such as Yahoo for Verizon, or NBC News for Comcast). Perhaps more importantly, it means Internet providers aren’t allowed to slow down or block blogs like mine here because I criticize their dubious and unethical business practices (like I have criticized Google so many times in the past). Put another way, it means the Internet is not just “cable TV for computers” where one has to pay extra to access certain sites; one is not stuck using Google because it costs extra to access DuckDuckGo.
It disgusts me that we have someone in charge of the FCC (Ajit Pai) who used to be an attorney for Verizon and who is apparently still Verizon’s puppet. Yes, DJT put him there, but this goes beyond the presidency. We still have a week to compel Congress to act.
For those of you in the Houston area, there are two main protests. I signed up when only the protest at the downtown Verizon store was available. That store is at 930 Main Street #103, right next to the northbound Main Street Square station on METRORail’s Red Line, across the street from a Metro bus stop for (inbound) routes 40 and 41 (also 212, 228, and 262 but those are more expensive commuter routes), and about a block and a half from the southbound Main Street Square station. (If you’ve been downtown a lot, you’ll remember at one time it was an AT&T store, and before that, a Krispy Kreme donut shop.) The protest at this store is at 5:00 pm, but I will try to be there no later than 4:45 pm to help get things started and/or meet and greet. There is apparently a second protest scheduled at the downtown store for Friday at 6:00 pm; this may be an alternate date due to the weather forecast (the hourly forecast I am seeing has no chance of rain during the 5:00 pm hour, but a 40% chance during the 4:00 pm hour and 30% during the 6:00 pm hour).
The other Verizon store protests listed in the area (current as of very shortly before the time of this post) are at the Galleria area store, 6 BLVD Place (1800 Post Oak Boulevard) at 11:30 am (on Metro bus route 33, also a relatively short walk from the Post Oak stop on route 82); Pearland store, 10904 Memorial Hermann Drive at 2:00 pm; and Pasadena store, 3830 Spencer Highway at 1:00 pm.
If you are outside the Houston area, please consult the event map. If you can’t attend a protest, you can still help out by spreading the word.