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There’s a protest for net neutrality in Williamsburg Thursday night

Hundreds plan to gather outside the Verizon store on Bedford Avenue. (Image via Facebook)

Protesters plan to gather at the Verizon store on Bedford Avenue and 8th Street in Brooklyn to voice their displeasure over a proposed rule change that polices internet service providers.

The issue, commonly called “net neutrality,” has been in the national discussion for years, since it became official policy in 2015, under President Barack Obama. But a new president and a new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, would like to scrap the rules that treat internet providers like utilities in the way they handle traffic.

Under the current net neutrality rules, service providers like Verizon and Comcast must treat all web traffic the same way, sending Netflix, Facebook and Google through the pipes to consumers at the same download speed. Under the proposed rule changes, service providers would be able to prioritize which websites go through the network fastest. That would open up the possibility that individual (big) companies could pay service providers to make their traffic a higher priority, at the expense of other (small) companies.

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