US tech giants urge FCC to protect net neutrality

As the moment when the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will decide the future of net neutrality draws near, over 100 Internet companies have sent an open letter to the Commission, making known their support for a free and open internet.

“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,” they claim.

“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,” they pointed out, urging the FCC to “take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce.”

The letter has been signed by Google, Ebay, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, Yahoo, Github, Kickstarter and many other big Internet companies.

The effort was organized by Engine Advocacy and New America’s Open Technology Institute, two long-time supporters of Open Internet policies.

“Young, high-tech firms have represented all net new job growth in this country for the last thirty years. It is these startups that drive our economic prosperity, create jobs, and improve our lives. Yet these companies stand to suffer the most when faced with uncertain, discriminatory rules that threaten the Open Internet,” commented Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Engine Advocacy.

“Startups are often unable to compete at scale to overcome, negotiate with, and manage thousands of discriminatory carriers and networks. Young, high-tech firms must rely on the certainty of non-discriminatory rules to continue to grow, create jobs, and build new technologies. This is why we urge the FCC to protect the Open Internet.”

On Monday, Mozilla filed a request with the FCC, proposing that the Commission designate remote delivery services – services offered by an ISP to an edge provider such as Dropbox or Netflix – as telecommunications services.

The FCC is scheduled to vote on the new rules on May 15.

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