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Tech giants blast FCC's net neutrality proposal

FCC net neutrality proposal could slow down certain applications on the Internet
By Chuong H Nguyen on 7 May 2014 07:01 pm EDT
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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, 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."

Reader comments

Tech giants blast FCC's net neutrality proposal

78 Comments

Up in Canada I pay $70 per month for 25mbps.

That's ridiculous.

If they are going to start prioritizing speed based on the amount paid my Internet bill is going to go through the fucking roof!

I find it hard to believe that Internet data access is slowly approaching the cost of 1000 video channels from my cable provider. Especially considering most of them are now in hd.

Posted on a Post-It!

You could sign up for a cell phone for that price per month and get much faster internet speed with LTE. That's twisted

Posted via CB10

Who are you using as a provider? My dad uses Rogers and he pays $28 for 25 Mbs and 75 Gb band with. For an extra $10 he could have unlimited if he wants. Otherwise try Teksavvy

Posted via CB10 on my Zee-Tree Zero!

And I'm with we only have two really options in Manitoba. MTS and Shaw.

Both are priced near same

Posted on a Post-It!

Let alone the fact that we rarely see that kind of speed in realtime. Premium prices as poor services provided, kinda frusterating when you see what kind of backend is going on too...

The whole thing is to stop internet use. Keep the masses ignorant, so they are easier to control.

Slainte, Knowledge is power... Posted via CB10

You reminded me of Patrick Swayze in Road House when he told something very similar to the club owner hehe

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

Roadhooouse. *in Peter Griffin's voice

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Roadhouse! Lmao...that takes me back! Talk about a blast from the past!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

Uuuum.....yeah.....Roadhouse!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing)  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones!

I'd like to see an ISP market "net neutral" service. And then let the free market decide.

Would you pay more for a service that is guaranteed to be net neutral?

Why should i? I'm already paying for bandwidth and access so it's just a cash grab to make up for cable cord cutters.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Eee-Xactly! The cable companies have deep pockets for lobbyists on Capital Hill. If anyone thinks there wasn't some back room deals going on with the FCC to destroy net neutrality, they're naive, to say the least. Those "fast lane" charges are nothing but an alternate revenue stream to [over] compensate for the cord cutters.

I would think that data caps would make this a moot point. Guess I really don't understand these things.

Posted via CB10

You poor Americans...

10 euros/month for 100 mbit up&down, unlimited, uncapped, p2p unblocked, fibre optic internet (+ static ip free of charge)

Beat that :)

Posted via CB10 on glorious Z10 powered by 10.2.1.2947

I know, and envy all my German / European friends over there. Australia is way behind in infrastructure, and up here in the Far North reliability is a rather lacking....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

#$@$ off... I would love to have Internet speeds like that. We get practically ripped off here in the states and the only ones who truly care are the tech peeps. Everyone else just wants something that works, nothing more.

Posted via CB10

We have all of that except for the 100mbps upload speeds. What are you talking about? We just get assaulted on the price. And the only reason the companies can charge so much is because they payoff our money grubbing politicians to look the other way while the cable companies jack up the prices for no reason whatsoever.

These big companies know that Data is big money now, so it's time to cash in big time, Think about this Example: Verizon- Voice, text, picture text, $0, Data plan $100 for 2GB and they may call it "The free choice plan" With the we care about you plan 4GB of Data for only $155..The fine print: if you go over your data plan, a charge of $30 will be added to your bill, but we have blazing fast 4G speeds so connect up to 13 devices now to your phones hotspot. ..

"Data" the new Greed

$155 for 4GB from Verizon? You might want to give your rep a call. VZ doesn't even charge that much for 12GBs with 4G service

Posted via CB10

Trickle down Economics. Basically the consumer is going to be screwed. If it passes the FCC will put squeeze on ISPs and then that will affect all the companies who will increase the rates charged to customers. Shit rolls down hill and the customer gets screwed in the end.

You really don't know what you are talking about. It is the tyrannical regime that you voted for that is doing this.

Posted via CB10

You are making assumptions about me. My comment has nothing to do with politics but just FYI I voted for the other guy.

The issue is paying for the same bandwidth twice. You pay for it and now the want the content providers to pay on top of that.

It also serves to shut out the small players, with the effect of limiting competition. Never a good thing.

Posted via CB10

The problem is that the content providers won't be the ones paying, the cost will eventually be passed to down to the consumer, so ultimately consumers will the ones getting screwed.

I think the group anonymous should get involved and hak everyone from fcc to these Internet providers and expose all their dirty laundry!!!!!!!! F..k uncle Sam

Posted via CB10

F the left! This is what the so called progressive (regressives) want to shove down our throats. Stop voting for communists!

Posted via CB10

Elections are bought in the US, not won. Even then it's really only a one party system anyway, the Business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies.

Zed30

Only difference between parties is one is for free markets and the other is the opposite (obama). Do you think this current regime is for free markets?

Posted via CB10

the service providers know that only data will be able to be monetized everything else is already available at no charge via apps example (voice calls..bbm,viber and so on also video and instant messaging) their problem is they took to long to realize the revolution that they were helping to create so again i say bring on anonymous!!!!!

Posted via CB10

...maybe FCC needs more structures for PRISM? they're as Federal as NSA. Between agencies, terms of endearment..
:).

Posted via CB10

How? What's your understanding of fascism?

To restrict the net in any way would be fascism according to my understanding. Please explain.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

If anyone books 10Mbit, he can use 10MBit for 24/30 every month, that's what broadband is for. On mobile we usually have a data pack, and alloted GBs, so there is no drama either. Just unlimited mobile data plans might be something...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

They have to push this by executive fiat because the people don't want it and the executive branch cant push it through the legislative branch. Same thing they are trying to do with the EPA and carbon tax. The executive branch is NOT suppose to legislate.

Posted via CB10

Good insight. Checks and Balances, separation of power. Good ol' constitutional stuff.

(No good anymore in the NWO, lol)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Well lets see. My cable pkg runs around 115/mo from Shaw. Thats hi speed net as well. They have a phone included, but im quite happy with my Magic Jack and see no reason to change ph #'s and all that crap.

My Q runs me 90/mo all told.

Now get me an all in pkg for say 135 that gives me my Q, with NA long Dist and min 2gb data, unlimited text, plus my same cable pkg + internet.

I would jump at that.

But, im definitely FOR Net Neutrality.

Via what's really, a BOLD X....on X.II.I

@BerryRipe: if you're in the US, let's take Verizon's once-upon-a-time plan which "guaranteed unlimited data for life." If you happened to have lived longer than four more years, that guarantee turned out to be a joke. They rescinded it, in a plain and simple breach of thousands upon thousands of contracts. Not the Congress, the federal or state regulators, or even federal or state attorneys general called foul. Sure, that was for wireless phone, but they're an ISP now.

Bottom line is though, all of us in NA are conditioned to hi cost mobile and home plans.

Right?

Likely hood is (and the providers know it), we'll just keep on paying. Or suffer continent wide NOMO!

Via what's really, a BOLD X....on X.II.I

I have a feeling the average Internet user does not understand just how big of an issue this is. Net neutrality is not just a fancy buzz phrase; net neutrality is what ensures a free flowing Internet experience. Without it, we are soon going to be at the mercy of ISPs as to what is deemed 'acceptable' data use on the Internet.

This is honestly equivalent to a car manufacturer lobbying governments to be allowed to restrict the use of their vehicles on certain roads and highways even after a person has bought the car in full and paid their taxes for these roads. Does that sound fair? Of course not. Of course these car manufacturers are going to hide being excuses like "needing to ensure the best customer experience", "not voiding your warranty by driving under extreme conditions", etc. All just window dressing for the lies to make more profit.

Since when should it matter if what I use a product for is being used for one legal thing or another? They are acting like the Internet is some finite resource that must be rationed out. Should the Internet have two experiences? One for consumers and firms like Netflix who will pay extra for premium access and one for the average joy who enjoys watching YouTube every day? Why would it even matter if I am using my Internet connection to read an occasional email or binge watch 1080 steams on Netflix? Of course, they need to say that these "data hogs" ruin it for everyone else, when really, they should be admitting their poorly deployed networks they received copious tax rebates to build cannot handle the demands of all the new customers they sign up.

This will soon become nothing short of triple dipping for ISPs as they will be generating revenue by: receiving tax subsidies to build out networks (often times they will never build; see Verizon in New Jersey for more on that), the price paid by consumers for Internet access on their networks, and finally from businesses like Netflix who will pay for 'premium' access. Yes, we should all feel bad for those poor ISPs.

I am not holding my breath though. The new FCC chairman is a good friend of the cable industry and is a form cable lobbyist himself. Consumers, expect to get screwed once again. Remember, we are here to only prop up big business. Keep your mouth shut and fall in line!

You should have ended that rant with the following.......

"YOU JUST GOT LITT UP!" - Quote: Louis Litt from Suits

Posted via CB10

Pipes are useless without content. Allow multiple ISP's per region, instead of the current monopoly system, and the content providers can favor those that don't limit bandwidth. Try overpricing your bandwidth when you have no content that customers want...

Let's see if Google fiber would start to implement the net neutrality they see fit (fit to the $). Infrastructure need to not only implement, but also maintained. Just look at the construction season of all the cables, routers installation every year and year after year, some one have to allocate $ for initial installation, and follow on $$$ for the security and PM (remind me the story of steal Cu cable from network when Cu price sky high few years ago... another local cable company tried to penny pinch the ground cable - Purchase some low cost fiber optic cable with poor moisture shielding. in some south neck of the woods, if rains heavily, your TV signal got significant degradation due to moisture absorption at transmission wave length. There is too costly to fix the problem, unless you replace ground cable that already laid...) . easy for the chaps ask for "free" that never own a network or support one.

Posted via CB10

UK is great if you live in the centre of a city but for a lot of us who don't Internet is a overpriced joke. All the isp's advertise amazing speeds but it doesn't happen

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

That must be stopped. Fucking expensive over there.
My plan:
Unlimited phone calls to ALL providers
Unlimited sms
2gb lte data
And okay student discount (10€)
Without smartphone (bought it myself)

= 49,90€

Posted via CB10

US citizens need to write the fcc and push for common carrier status for isp's. The other option will slowly have tech giants moving out of the US and the US becoming isolated. Other countries can choose not to pay the extra fees these US carriers want.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

All you need is Google, Apple, Microsoft, and a few others to sign a "promise to move out of country" letter, and start buying large quantities of moving boxes. Problem solved.

Posted via CB10

If giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are worried about competitors (i.e., the vertically integrated ISP owners) locking them out, believe me, we all need to. Don't forget, TV used to free, and now look how expensive it is.

So, for example, Comcast, one of of the largest ISPs, also owns NBC broadcast network, Universal Pictures,Focus Features, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, USA Network, Syfy, Chiller, E!, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC.com, NBCNews.com, iVillage, PictureBox Movies, Bravo, Esquire Network, Telemundo Television Studios, The Weather Company (partial) and Hulu (32%). They are content producers, content owners and content providers.

Don't you think that, given the regulatory green light, it will protect those vast investments from competition?

John Oliver actually gives the most thorough and comprehensible explanation of the issue I've seen anywhere: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU.