Tech giants blast FCC's net neutrality proposal

FCC net neutrality proposal could slow down certain applications on the Internet

In an open letter to the Federal Communications Commission, major Internet and technology companies are united in their fight to keep the Internet free and open. Companies that include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix among others (though Apple is noticeably absent), are standing together to fight the FCC's plans to split the Internet into faster and slower speed lanes as part of a new upcoming vote.

"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," the letter reads. "If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet."

These technology companies are asking that the Commission should establish rules that protect users on mobile and fixed platforms against "blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for internet services more transparent."

Paid prioritization will become more important as users consume more video content over Internet-based services, often as a result of cord-cutting. Companies like Netflix and Amazon would have to pay ISPs more money to get more speed so that they can deliver videos at sufficient quality to viewers.

GigaOm reports that fifty tech firms are standing together to oppose the FCC proposal that will be voted on. In addition to Amazon, Netflix, and Google, other notable names include Tumblr (now a Yahoo! property), Reddit, Foursquare, Facebook, eBay, the National Association of Realtors, Lyft, Zynga, and more.

Though the letter opposes the proposal that stands before the Commission, it does not provide for an alternative solution. Instead, the technology firms are just calling for an "open Internet" as a vehicle for innovation and free speech, noting that "such rules are essential for the future of the Internet."

"The innovation we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination," the letter states. "An open Internet has also been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users."

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Reader comments

Tech giants blast FCC's net neutrality proposal


I noticed that imore doesn't get as much view since apple only does one release per year but I think this topic should get as much exposure as possible. Keep it open!!!!!

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Of course the tech companies don't want it to pass!!!! I like the way Imore wrote this column (sarcasm )That's not quite how it would go down. Do research yourself people!!! it would save us a lot of money in the long run these tech companies are money hungry crooks !!!!!!!. Don't take my word for truth the research yourself

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How would it cost us less in the long run? No internet provider is going to reduce my monthly bill, just because of Netflix subsidies. Also, for those that have Netflix, prices will rise to cover the extortion of the ISPs.

All I need is a dumb pipe going to my house. That is what I pay for. Next people will want to charge me more for the water I use in the bathroom than the water I use in the kitchen.

Excellent analogy Nathan. If this bill passes it will pose a grave danger for podcasters as well e.g. TWiT, etc. Comcast gets enough of my money now, I want to use my bandwidth the way I want, not how Comcast dictates.

I agree. I currently am on a two year contract that lets me pay $65 a month. After that I will be paying $99 a month (plus fees and taxes). I get 999 gigabytes a month, 1 gig shy of a full terabyte. What does it matter how I use this bandwidth? If I go over the 999 gigs, I have to pay an additional fee. How can it not be extortion to charge the content creator or slow down my connection when I listen to a podcast or watch a movie. Again, I pay for 999 gigs a month, hell I paid an additional $30 a month for the slightly faster speed just so that my cap would be 999 instead of 300 gigs.

Plus. The ISP is going to move to metered data anyway. They will charge by the Gigabyte when they can. Although I don't think they can because all networks under the ISP are not equal. It'll be like gas and octane ratings.

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Yes, do research. Its equivalent to FedEx charging Amazon more to deliver a book in 2 days, simply because Amazon has more books to deliver, than they charge me for them to deliver a book in 2 days. Who is Amazon going to pass the price increase onto? In the case of Net Neutrality, its Comcast saying "gee, I need to charge NetFlix more to deliver all those data packets." That's not NetFlix's fault, but they're going to pass that cost increase onto me.

Normally I am very pro-America, but this clearly isn't something I would call freedom.

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It won't matter to these huge companies they will just pass the added cost to we the consumers, just look at netflix

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That's the problem. They'd rather not have to. Much easier to sell $7 streaming service than a $10 one with less and less good media on it.

Here's the thing. I was sold a pipe by my ISP and told this gets me to the Internet. Netflix purchases pipes as well and was told they could deliver content. Now that they are big, the provider wants to cut into that content. It's really very simple, you sell pipes and we buy them. ISP's are utilities and should be treated as such. Maybe Google just needs to open the petty cash drawer and buy Comcast and nix this notion. Let AT&T charge more to Netflix and others and simply watch people migrate to a fee net.

I wish Google or Apple would buy one of these major providers and give them some real competition instead of the oligopoly we deal with now. This crap would be like Microsoft charging a fee to Google for allowing people to use Chrome to browse the web.

I don't use Netflix, but I do use Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. I dread the cost on those going up because they are being extorted by the ISPs.