Internet is open to all. And the Internet service providers (ISPs) should not discriminate against Internet companies. That’s why tech giants such as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and over a hundred others have submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in defense of strong net neutrality. The net neutrality rule states that ISPs shouldn’t charge Internet companies for preferential treatment in the “last mile.”
FCC chairman Wheeler faces opposition from his own colleagues
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) recently signed deals, albeit reluctantly, with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) so that its customers can enjoy shows without any interruption. The coalition of technology companies objected to the new rules proposed by the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler has proposed a rule that will allow ISPs to charge Internet companies extra to give them preference over others.
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That kind of regulations will give deep-pocketed companies an unfair advantage over start-ups that can’t afford to pay ISPs to offer smooth services to their customers. Tom Wheeler’s colleagues have also voiced against the proposal, calling it a “grave threat to the Internet.” FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Wednesday that she prefers open Internet. Many other FCC commissioners have also expressed doubts over the new proposal.
Netflix, Google and other got relief in the EU, will they get it in the U.S.?
Tom Wheeler’s proposal has sparked outrage among the net neutrality advocates. The dissent of FCC commissioners and the letter by tech companies amount to the fiercest pushback since Wheeler first proposed the new rules. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings has been a vocal critic of the new rules. Last month, companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), Netflix and others took a sigh of relief when the European Union enacted a new law, prohibiting telecom operators and ISPs from charging Internet companies for paid prioritization.
FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said that the open Internet has been the backbone of technological innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. Rather than allowing discrimination and individualized bargaining, the FCC should protect users and Internet companies, added Clyburn.