Internet giants tell FCC not to abandon net neutrality

Internet giants tell FCC not to abandon net neutrality

The organisation that represents leading internet companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix, is urging the US regulator not to reverse its position on net neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), now led by Ajit Pai, is wanting to move away from its rules adopted two years ago that banned service providers from slowing down or restricting internet traffic.

The Internet Association (IA) met Pai and other FCC officials and issued a strongly worded document to emphasise its support of the open internet. Pai was a strong opponent of net neutrality under the previous US administration.

“The internet industry is uniform in its belief that net neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and innovation online,” said the association. “In other words, existing net neutrality rules should be enforced and kept intact.”

The FCC wants to replace net neutrality and its open internet (OI) policy with voluntary agreements.

The IA said in its statement, signed by president and CEO Michael Beckerman, that it “continues its vigorous support of the FCC’s OI Order, which is a vital component of the free and open internet”.

It added: “Consumers want and need their internet experience preserved and protected, regardless of the legal or regulatory mechanism. While IA continues its work to protect consumers by maintaining existing FCC rules, its primary focus is on the end result – meaningful net neutrality rules that withstand the test of time.”

The association said: “The rules should apply regardless of whether a user accesses the internet from a wireline, fixed wireless, or mobile broadband provider. Interconnection should not be used as a choke point to artificially slow traffic or extract unreasonable tolls from over-the-top providers.”

The IA’s 41 members include Airbnb, Dropbox, PayPal, Spotify, Twitter, Uber and also Yahoo, which is being bought by Verizon.

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