Protesters take a stand for net neutrality in Boise

Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 00:23:32-05

Over 40 protesters made their voices heard outside of the Verizon store near the Boise Town Square Mall Thursday afternoon. The protesters demanding to keep the internet free and open.

"In order for our economy to grow and in order for small businesses to grow the way they are, we need to have an open internet," said protesters Adam Harris.

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to roll back net neutrality regulations. Right now, internet service providers must treat all data on the internet the same,  meaning they are not permitted to discriminate or charge more for certain content, websites or users. If the FCC loosens or gets rid of net neutrality, telecommunications companies may be permitted to intentionally block, slow down, or even charge additional fees for certain websites. 

A 14-year-old student organized the protest and used social media to mobilize the community. 

"I've been planning this for quite some time and I'm shaking. I just didn't even think that I would get these many people in such a short time come and protest," said Isaiah Beaman who organized the protest. 

Organizers say the protest was not directed at employees of the Verizon store but the company itself who could profit from the changes. One protester tells 6 On Your Side getting rid of net neutrality would prevent his online video game business from getting off the ground. 

"What it's saying is that I would have a huge disadvantage to start a business because I don't have the money that I would be able to pay my into the access of everybody," said Harris.

The FCC is expected to make their decision next week on December 14th.