EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- Protesters around the country were out in force Thursday night, taking on a confusing topic that affects a majority of the population every day.
The FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality rules are slated to be voted on in one week. As that date approaches, protesters bundled up to stand outside the Verizon Wireless store in Eau Claire near the Oakwood Mall. More than a dozen demonstrators held signs speaking out about the potential changes.
In November, the FCC announced plans to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The plan would lift rules that prohibit internet service providers from slowing or 'throttling' some web traffic and create so-called paid internet fast lanes. But the FCC chairman argues the old rules are burdensome and prevent investment in broadband networks.
"It's about the fear that if we font have net neutrality, there will be restrictions on free speech and our ability to get information," Eau Claire rally organizer Violet Kilmurray said.
"Not only will it limit internet access to people who have money, lower income people wont have access to the internet. Also, that could open up a whole can of worms with censorship that would be so much harder to deal with," Nazish Khan said.
The current FCC chairman has ties to Verizon Wireless, which is why protesters gathered outside of stores across the country Thursday night.
Because of the republican majority on the FCC, the proposed rules are expected to pass at the next meeting on December 14th.