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