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US tech firms call on FCC to maintain net neutrality

Monday 17 July 2017 | 15:42 CET | News
A lobbying group representing US tech giants including Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft has called on the US Federal Commission to abandon its plans to overturn the net neutrality regulations adopted by the previous administration. In a filing submitted to the FCC and seen by Reuters, the Internet Association claimed that dismantling the net neutrality rules "will create significant uncertainty in the market and upset the careful balance that has led to the current virtuous circle of innovation in the broadband ecosystem."

The intervention comes after the FCC in May voted to start the rulemaking process proposed by chairman Ajit Pai, ending the so-called Title II classification of broadband services as a utility which allows the regulator to impose net neutrality rules. Pai also asked if the FCC has authority or should keep its rules barring internet companies from blocking, throttling or giving "fast lanes" to some websites, known as "paid prioritisation."

Although some providers have claimed that paid prioritisation may make sense at times with regard to sectors such as self-driving cars and healthcare, the Internet Association replied that opening the door to prioritisation could enable providers to "destroy the open nature of the internet that allows new or smaller streaming video providers to compete with larger or better-funded edge providers."

The trade body added that it was "open to alternative legal bases for the rules, either via legislative action codifying the existing net neutrality rules or via sound legal theories offered by the commission” but that, as it stands, Pai's proposal currently "offers no clear alternatives."




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Categories: Internet
Companies: Alphabet / Amazon / Facebook / FCC / Microsoft
Countries: United States
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