WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Proponents of net neutrality protest against Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outside the American Enterprise Institute before his arrival May 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. Appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012, Pai was elevated to the chairmanship of the FCC by U.S. President Donald Trump in January. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The 170 organisations involved – including Amazon, Reddit and Netflix – are preparing to choke their own services on Wednesday 12 July as a warning against FCC proposals for deregulating how internet service providers (ISPs) treat customers.
They allege the proposed deregulation would “destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online” – but what exactly is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is a term coined in 2003 to describe the principle that ISPs should treat all of the data they’re providing to customers equally, and not to use their own infrastructure to block out competitors.
In a fairly classical regulatory brouhaha, most of the big cable companies which the protest movement think would be at liberty to act maliciously have come forward in support of the FCC’s proposals.
However, all of those companies state that they are supporters of net neutrality and that the protest movement is …