Protests planned in Central Ohio supporting net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commision will vote on Net Neutrality in February. (FILE - WSYX/WTTE)

A series of protests were planned Thursday across Central Ohio a week ahead of a vote by the Federal Communications Commission that could repeal net neutrality rules and regulations.

Activists were expected to gather at Delaware City Hall at 9 a.m., Columbus-area Verizon Stores located on Henderson Road and North High Street near OSU's campus, along with Senator Rob Portman's office at 5 p.m.

The current rules concerning net neutrality were put in place in 2015 and were designed to ensure internet service providers continue to treat all legal online data the same no matter who accesses it or its source.

Basically, whomever you pay for the internet can't change speeds for one site or service compared to another.

New FCC chairman Ajit Pai has proposed repealing what he called "the heavy-handed Internet regulations imposed the Obama Administration."

Critics have expressed concerns that the repeal could negatively affect consumer with changing prices or speeds for various web content or services.

State Representative Thomas West (D-Canton) has introduced a resolution at the Ohio Statehouse encouraging Congress and the FCC to keep net neutrality in place.

"Right now, it's almost like getting on the highway. We al have a speed limit. We can go freely and fully," West told ABC 6 & FOX 28. "As we look at evolving the internet and making it faster, everyone should have access to that whether the person is poor or rich."

The FCC has published Myth vs. Fact list.

Pai has stated net neutrality has been bad for competition and has discouraged companies from expanding services to new customers or upgrading networks.

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