July 12 may be remembered as the day net neutrality lived or died. The important principle that has governed how the internet has been regulated may be repealed, and tech companies and organizations are mounting a major attempt to fight back.

The wide-ranging Net Neutrality Day of Protest, organized by nonprofit digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, will bring together more than 80,000 companies and organizations that count net neutrality as an unassailable guiding principle of the internet.

Read: Net Neutrality Day of Action Protest: What Amazon, Netflix, Others Are Doing To Help 'Save The Internet'

At stake for the companies rallying Wednesday is net neutrality, the concept that requires all data to be treated as equal. Beneath the umbrella of net neutrality are three pillars: that internet service providers cannot block access to any content, throttle or slow a connection, or offer paid prioritization to companies or services who are willing to pay for preferential treatment.

The rule had been pursued by internet companies for years before it was finally codified into law in 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, passed the Open Internet Order.

The ruling reclassified ISPs as common carriers and made the internet a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act and gave the commission the ability to enforce the tenets of net neutrality.

Those protections are about to go away, the companies behind the protest fear. That concern started to bubble up after the election of President Donald Trump. It was not quelled when the new President appointed Ajit Pai, reliable conservative voice and staunch opponent of Title II reclassification on the FCC, to chair the commission.

Read: Is Net Neutrality Dead? What The Internet Will Look Like Without Open Internet Rules, Title II

Since taking his leadership role, Chairman Pai has proposed a reversal of the Title II classification, returning the internet to a state where ISPs have much more control over how content is distributed and who has access to it. Pai has also suggested allowing ISPs to undermine the primary tenets of the policy, including restrictions on paid prioritization.

Pai’s plan has been met with a significant amount of pushback, with the original proposal generating hundreds of thousands of comments from the public. That period was mired with controversy, including a dubious distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack preventing people from leaving comments and accusations of anti-net neutrality groups generating fake comments accompanied by names and addresses of citizens who did not post them.

The questionable status of many of the comments made it easy for the FCC under Pai to dismiss objections to the plan. The protest on July 12 will be much less ambiguous.

As users click around the web, visiting their favorite sites and services and opening their most used apps, they will be greeted by a number of of messages designed to show them what an internet might be like without net neutrality.

Gamers opening communications app Discord will see a request to speak up for net neutrality on social media; blogging platform Medium will display an alert about the importance of net neutrality; singles visiting OkCupid will get an in-app notification about the day of protest; Vimeo will broadcast a net neutrality explainer video.

Other major sites and services including Google, Facebook, Spotify, Reddit, Etsy and thousands of others will be taking similar steps. Mozilla Vice President of Advocacy Ashley Boyd told International Business Times the makers of the popular Firefox web browser had a number of eye-grabbing initiatives planned for the day of protest.

Mozilla will prominently display in its browser some of the more than 42,000 public comments in defense of net neutrality it has collected while encouraging its users to add their own voice to the mix.

The company is also launching an episode of its podcast all about net neutrality and how it impacts all internet users, including a maggot farmer in Georgia who counts on the rules to help reach new customers online. It also will debut a short video featuring Senator Al Franken, D-Minn.—and a much, much longer video that will feature nine hours worth of user-submitted comments supporting net neutrality.

All of the company's efforts, which will go live alongside those of thousands of others, will serve to drum up support for net neutrality as the deadline approaches for public comments on the FCC’s current proposal.

"There is a growing public awareness of the issues at stake with net neutrality and about internet security and privacy issues,” Boyd said. “I think the spotlight on net neutrality comes at a time when the public is highly aware of the importance of the internet in terms of innovation, freedom expression, and security."

There is no shortage of support for what Mozilla and other internet companies are fighting for in the battle. According to a recent poll conducted Freedman Consulting and provided to IBT, Americans overwhelmingly support current net neutrality protections.

The poll found 77 percent of Americans—including 73 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats, and 76 percent of independents—want to keep net neutrality protections. More than eight in 10—81 percent— of people said ISPs should not be able to block websites, throttle or slow connections, or offer paid prioritization.

Standing in the way of the Day of Protest participants, hundreds of thousands of commenters supporting net neutrality rules and the significant public support for current protections is a massive block of influence and monied interests.

MapLight—a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics—found three of the largest internet service providers and trade associations have spent more than a half-billion dollars lobbying against issues like net neutrality in the past decade.

The analysis, published Tuesday, found that Comcast, AT&T and Verizon along with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association have spent a total of $572 million in attempt to influence the FCC and other government agencies since 2008.

Chairman Pai has long argued, citing figures provided by the telecommunications industry, that net neutrality has done more harm than good for businesses, including stifling investment in broadband infrastructure and hampering small businesses that operate online.

Those claims have been refuted a number of times. A study conducted by Free Press found broadband investment actually increased by five percent since the implementation of net neutrality rules and most network providers gave no indication they would be slowing the expansion of their networks during earnings reports to investors.

Many businesses have also rejected the notion that net neutrality has done any damage to their operations. In many cases, small businesses actually support net neutrality and view the rules as providing a level playing field to compete against larger companies that would be able to afford to pay for preference in an unregulated internet environment.

Netflix, a company that started online and has grown into one of the biggest properties on the internet, has held firm in its support of net neutrality. “There are other companies for whom this is a bigger issue, and we're joining this day of action to ensure the next Netflix has a fair shot to go the distance,” a spokesperson for Netflix told IBT.

While most major ISPs have supported the FCC’s proposal to ditch net neutrality, California-based high speed internet provider Sonic told IBT it fully supports net neutrality and an open internet and will be participating in the day of protest.

“Internet providers should not be able to charge content creators—like Netflix, Hulu, or CNET—more money to stream their service, or have the ability to block others entirely. The internet should remain open and equal for all,” Dane Jasper, CEO and cofounder of Sonic, said.

Whether the efforts of the internet companies and organizations and the motivated members of the public they call to action will work is yet to be seen. Similar rallies to defend the FCC’s Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules that prevented ISPs from collecting private information from customers fell short. One thing is clear: if net neutrality disappears, it won’t go without a fight.