RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Protesters gathered in front of Verizon stores around the country Thursday in an effort to save Obama-era net neutrality rules.
Locally, the protests were organized by several advocacy groups in the hope of pressuring Republicans in Congress to stop the Federal Communications Commission from rolling back the rules adopted in 2015.
The provisions keep internet service providers from blocking or throttling content or accepting payment to prioritize some data.
Verizon stores were chosen as the sight of the protests because the new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, was a former lawyer at Verizon.
"There is kind of a conflict of interest in the former lawyer for Verizon regulation and policing Verizon. The FCC is supposed to regulate these telecoms and instead, the FCC is helping them run their agenda," said Rick Sanchez, who joined in the local protest.
Protesters said the new rules for the FCC would benefit big telecom and cable companies, such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.