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Olympia’s Verizon store will be among those targeted in Thursday’s massive protest

This is a screen shot of a map on Verizonprotest.com that highlights areas where protests in support of net neutrality are planned on Thursday.
This is a screen shot of a map on Verizonprotest.com that highlights areas where protests in support of net neutrality are planned on Thursday.

Activists from around the country are planning a national day of action at Verizon stores on Thursday in support of net neutrality.

And there’s a protest planned in South Sound, too. It’s scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Verizon location at the southwest entrance of Capital Mall, at the corner of Capital Mall Road Southwest and Black Lake Boulevard Southwest.

The effort is supported by Our Revolution Thurston, Indivisible Thurston County, and The Oly Embrace, according to a news release.

“Bring signs to wave that show your support for net neutrality,” states the Facebook event page. “This is a bipartisan issue, and all consumers will be affected!”

So, what is net neutrality and why are people so worked up about it?

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a plan to scrap existing rules for internet delivery.

“At the center of the debate is whether telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon should be able to charge internet sites for delivering their data to consumers’ homes,” reported The New York Times.

In 2015, the FCC voted to prohibit those charges in a policy often referred to as net neutrality. The FCC is scheduled to vote next week on a proposed rollback of those rules.

Eliminating the policy will allow providers to be selective about the content and pricing packages they make available, and “throttle” internet traffic.

“Customers won’t likely have visibility into what traffic is being throttled, and it could substantially slow down people’s internet connections,”Forbes reported.

For more information, go to the Olympia event’s page at tinyurl.com/y7qjlybz or learn more about the national effort at verizonprotests.com.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton

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