Some of the world’s biggest tech giants including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Twitter, Yahoo, and eBay, have set their differences aside to form a coalition against a proposal the Federal Communications Commission has put forward which threatens net neutrality.
Net neutrality has been called “the free speech issue of our time” due to its importance to keep a steady balance between control and freedom. In an article Tuesday, we reported on Tier-1 network Level 3 who reveals ISPs are already dropping “packets” over money disputes.
Senator Al Franken said the rules that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposes would let corporations buy into an internet “fast lane” at the expense of consumers and smaller and emerging companies – which creates an uneven playing field and disrupts the neutral playing field.
The letter to the FCC written by the coalition does not give any suggested course of action, but instead re-affirms the benefits of an open internet and how the FCC has protected it until now. It reads: “The Commission’s long-standing commitment and actions undertaken to protect the open internet are a central reason why the internet remains an engine of entrepreneurship and economic growth,”
“This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets.”
It marks the first time Amazon has taken a stance on net neutrality regulations and displays major technology companies’ united front on sustaining open and non-discriminatory internet rules. It would harm these bigger companies less than smaller, upcoming competition, so it’s good to see the weight and gravitas of these giants getting behind the letter.
The reported plans would allows ISPs to charge internet companies more money in exchange for ensuring a faster delivery of their traffic, with those who cannot afford to pay-up receiving a sub-standard service.
“The Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and impose new tolls on them,” the companies wrote in their letter.
The full text of the letter can be read below:
Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Reilly,
We write to express our support for a free and open internet. Over the past twenty years, American innovators have created countless Internet-based applications, content offerings, and services that are used around the world. These innovations have created enormous value for Internet users, fueled economic growth, and made our Internet companies global leaders. The innovation we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination. An open Internet has also been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users.
The Commission’s long-standing commitment and actions undertaken to protect the open Internet are a central reason why the Internet remains an engine of entrepreneurship and economic growth.
According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them. If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet.
Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent. The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.
Such rules are essential for the future of the Internet. This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets
What do you think about the controversial proposition? Let us know in the comments.