RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) Internet giants are protesting the government Wednesday. Some of the largest online companies are taking part in the Net Neutrality Day Of Action.
The companies are showing their disapproval for the Federal Communication Commission's plan to roll back rules made during the Obama administration.
If you've been online Wednesday then you've probably noticed the internet may look a little different.
Major websites like Google, Facebook, Netflix are joining about 80 thousand other sites urging you to defend Net Neutrality and protect internet freedom.
Banners, pop ups, and push notifications are greeting internet users Wednesday as sites fight against a new proposal that relaxes rules originally meant to increase government oversight. Those regulations are in place so online service providers can treat all internet traffic the same.
"The idea is that everybody should be free to offer new services and to be able to do so with an equal footing with big giants that are already out there, with YouTube, Netflix and various internet companies so they continue to foster the open, competitive environment that has been the internet," said Gary Schirr, an associate professor of Marketing at Radford University.
At question is whether or not the internet should be a place of openness, where information and videos are available with a simple click, or restricted.
The current regulations guarantee online service providers treat all websites equally.
If those regulations change, those providers could restrict content.
"There are some people who look at the Ma Bell argument and say let these providers be innovative themselves will be the best way forward and those are smart people too who care about innovation so as with any argument there is some validity on both sides," Schirr said.
It's predicted that today's protests aren't going to sway the FCC. The chairman is in favor of rolling back those rules and President Trump has given the proposal his support.