"Despite the outpouring of support for net neutrality, the three men who make up the FCC's majority remain determined to ignore the democratic process and take away the rights of internet users", said Free Press Action Fund field director Mary Alice Crim, referring to the FCC's three Republican commissioners.
"For nearly 20 years, the internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress", Pai said in a statement in November.
That's what locals were saying Thursday as they turned out to protest the possible end of net neutrality.
A group of internet advocates got together in Fayetteville to protest Net neutrality.
Without net neutrality, these corporations could cut off access to websites they - or the United States government, which through the NSA has historically been tied to telecom companies - deem inappropriate for the public to read, just like in North Korea or China.
Net Neutrality is what we all know today. "Net Neutrality is essential to our democracy". When asked why he was protesting, he said "to see who else is going to bother showing up".
Map of plan protests at Verizon stores and other locations.
The leaflet, however, did not endorse net neutrality, which Verizon has publicly opposed, instead supporting the "lightly regulated environment" of the internet before the 2015 net neutrality rules were implemented. Two employees, one in an Android mascot costume, even stood near protesters for a while, waving at cars.
A district sales manager at Russell Cellular Verizon declined to comment, or to give his name.