Microsoft, Google, Amazon and 100 other companies come out in support of Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman

Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook are just a few of tech firms that have signed a letter in support of Net Neutrality, which was sent to Tom Wheeler, the FCC’s chairman. This comes amid growing outcry over the FCC’s proposed new rules that would basically do away with net neutrality.

This story starts back in January when a court struck down the FCC’s 2010 rules on net neutrality. Now the commission is trying to adopt a new set of rules that would allow certain ISPs to charge companies and consumers for faster access to certain data. For example your ISP may charge you more if you want decent access to Netflix or Hulu as well as charge the companies themselves for faster bandwidth.

This goes against Net Neutrality, which some call the foundation of the internet. Neutrality means that ISPs and other companies cannot limit certain kinds of data on the internet. They are just providers and they have no business in deciding which data should get to your home faster.

However the new regulations go against this principle of neutrality, and this in turn is likely to lead to a more expensive, less useful version of the internet. Not only that but it may also lead to decreased competition and be a very limiting factor for the success of new and smaller companies.

The letter signed by Microsoft, Google and all the others does not suggest a future course of action, but it does mention that net neutrality is the cornerstone of the internet, and the companies express strong concern regarding the FCC’s new rules. The letter ends by saying:

Such rules [net neutrality] 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.

Even inside the FCC there is strong dissent with other commissioners expressing doubts and concern over these new proposed rules. However this hasn’t led the much reaction from the FCC just yet, with a vote still scheduled for next week. If this passes the new regulations would go into public debate and be one step closer to becoming reality.

You can read the whole letter here

Via: Time | Image courtesy of AP

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27 Comments

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They should all just threaten to withhold data from the NSA :-p

So what happens when the software/web companies' lobbyists collide with the ISP lobbyists?

I'm a capitalist. And, at this point, I believe the government should simply leave things exactly as they are right now -- not changing any regulations to grant something new, not changing regulations to restrict something new.

Robert Wade said,
I'm a capitalist. And, at this point, I believe the government should simply leave things exactly as they are right now -- not changing any regulations to grant something new, not changing regulations to restrict something new.

At one point, a company, or businesses can become large enough it no longer operates under capitalism model, and uses it leverage in anti-capitalistic ways to try and get's it way.

puma1 said,
Crock of sh*t, if they had their way neither MS nor Google would want neutrality.

Why wouldn't Microsoft want neutrality? Without neutrality, they would have significantly increased costs. The only reason why they might not is because they don't stream huge time-sensitive amounts of data, unlike Google with Youtube... so perhaps they wouldn't mind Google getting hit with that.

Google's support is curious. They made a deal with Verizon and suggested some draft language that was purposely very vague and provided loopholes for wireless.

Google's support is half there. They do not care, they know their traffic will be prioritized ;)

Surprise, surprise. The fate of our technological backbone is left in the hands of old people who know little to nothing about the technology in question. God, I love this country.

It's not a problem unique to the US; in Australia, our technological future is being decimated daily by a bunch of old technophobes who know nothing about anything.

Of course, if this gets entrenched there, I'm sure it won't be long until that disease catches us here in Australia too.

well off course they are. they are the ones to benefit from. Ironically google is probably the most reluctant as they are also an ISP but have to keep their misleading PR going or risk even more bad publicity.

I wouldnt worry about Google having any more to lose then money, which they have plenty off. They can afford to make deals for their services to have bandwidth priority.

Shadowzz said,
I wouldnt worry about Google having any more to lose then money, which they have plenty off. They can afford to make deals for their services to have bandwidth priority.
However what they've been having problems doing is setting up their own ISP to offer fiber optics. While they've been able to get in a few places, it's been incredible difficult to compete with ISPs because so many municipalities won't let them enter their area and offer fiber optics. And money isn't helping Google there.

Obama was the wrong choice of president since day one. Maybe the time has come that one is longer enough. Let it be the first country to have two president.

The FCC does not care about the consumers, just like Obama. They are just a tool used by the ISP to do what more pleased their pockets. If Net neutrality is dead, expect the internet to change dramatically thru the years with serious consequences.

COKid said,
Oh yes, another "blame all the ills of the world on Obama" comment. How original.

Obama IS the president at the moment and has the power to stop this. No matter who is president at a given time, the buck stops with them and we should hold them accountable for their action or inaction....even you.

COKid said,
Oh yes, another "blame all the ills of the world on Obama" comment. How original.

Okay then, don't blame him. Thank him. :laugh:

Net Neutrality and our online (and offline) privacy are the two biggest problems we need to be fighting at the moment. If Net Neutrality dies then the whole of the internet will be essentially owned and controlled by the few service providers to kill competition and force their own services on all. If we did not have Net Neutrality ten years ago we would not have YouTube or Netflix but we would be stuck with ISP owned services and no possible competition.

Damn... I've been clueless about how far they've gone on this and apparently the wheeler guy is a true Trojan horse. It's weird a bigger outcry has not been heard from the likes of reddit and the internets as a whole.