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Vimeo Fans Net-Neutrality Hopes

Video sharing website campaigns for free, open 'and weird' Internet 'we know and love' 7/07/2017 5:30 PM

Video-sharing website Vimeo is telling supporters that the FCC is planning to “repeal” net-neutrality rules and, if that happens, the internet will “start to resemble an old, rigid (vanilla) cable TV system, instead of the open (and ‘weird’) network that we know and love.”

The Federal Communications Commission has yet to announce exactly what it will do with the Tom Wheeler-era rules, but it is a pretty safe bet some of them are going and that Title II reclassification of ISPs will be rolled back, given the Republican majority’s distaste for Title II.

Vimeo's website is participating in the July 12 Internet Action Day to protest FCC chair Ajit Pai’s proposal to reclassify internet access, wired and wireless, and interconnections, as an information service not subject to Title II common-carrier regulations, as well as to eliminate the general conduct standard and reconsider whether the bright-line rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization are necessary.

Organizer Fight for the Future said more than 50,000 people, sites or organizations are participating in Internet Action Day. Vimeo is one of a host of edge providers participating in the protest — Amazon, Etsy, Mozilla and Netflix are as well — and it's marshaling its online video resources to make its case. 

"Participating" includes posting homepage messages, push notifications, videos, email campaigns and more, by some of the same groups behind the Internet Slowdown protest that helped defeat online piracy legislation (SOPA, PIPA) despite previous bipartisan Hill support.

For its part, Vimeo reached out to the producers who make its monthly “Staff Pick” videos of content that Vimeo staffers “really, really like” to create a Why We Need Net Neutrality video to say why they really, really like the Internet under Title II.

Initial comments on Pai's net-neutrality rule proposal are due July 14.