Wednesday's scheduled internet slowdown, a protest designed to show consumers what life without net neutrality rules would be like, is getting some real momentum behind it: Netflix just agreed to show all of its users a perpetual "loading" icon, making it the biggest company to sign on, according to an emailed press release from the protest's organizers.
Netflix, of course, has been at the forefront of the net neutrality debate over the last several months, as it (and its customers) potentially have the most to lose from a tiered internet system. Any move from internet service providers to require customers to pay more to access high speed, high definition streaming video from the service would obviously cut into Netflix's profits and into its customer base.
As we reported last week, the protest, being organized by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Engine, and Free Press, could be the largest virtual political protest since the 2012 blackouts in opposition to the SOPA bill.
Already, Reddit, WordPress, Vimeo, Upworthy, Kickstarter, Etsy, and dozens of other sites have agreed to show all of their visitors a popup window with a "loading" icon on September 10, meant to give visitors an idea of what will be lost if so-called "fast lanes" are allowed under the Federal Communications Commission's internet rules.