It appears the leaders of some of the world’s largest tech companies are not taking any chances that the FCC could be persuaded to ditch Net Neutrality at the last minute–they just sent the following letter to FCC.
Dear Chairman Genachowski:
We write to express our support for your announcement that the Federal Communications Commission will begin a process to adopt rules that preserve an open Internet. We believe a process that results in common sense baseline rules is critical to ensuring that the Internet remains a key engine of economic growth, innovation, and global competitiveness.
For most of the Internet’s history, FCC rules have ensured that consumers have been able to choose the content and services they want over their Internet connections. Entrepreneurs, technologists, and venture capitalists have previously been able to develop new online products and services with the guarantee of neutral, nondiscriminatory access by users, which has fueled an unprecedented era of economic growth and creativity. Existing businesses have been able to leverage the power of the Internet to develop innovative product lines, reach new consumers, and create new ways of doing business.
An open Internet fuels a competitive and efficient marketplace, where consumers make the ultimate choices about which products succeed and which fail. This allows businesses of all sizes, from the smallest startup to larger corporations, to compete, yielding maximum economic growth and opportunity.
America’s leadership in the technology space has been due, in large part, to the open Internet. We applaud your leadership in initiating a process to develop rules to ensure that the qualities that have made the Internet so successful are protected.
The signature line reads like a “Who’s Who” of the internet, with signatures from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s John Donahoe, Google’s Eric Schmidt and IAC’s Barry Diller. Newly added to the list of proponents include Twitter’s Ev Williams and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
So, what’s at stake? Net Neutrality essentially ensures that ISPs can’t charge extra fees based on the type of content flowing through their network pipes. In otherwords, data is data is data and the likes of Comcast shouldn’t be able to charge higher fees if that data is a blockbuster movie or your boss’s TPS report!
So why this urgent letter? The FCC plans to announce its proposed Net Neutrality guidelines this Thursday. While they will be hotly debated–and we are many months away from any legislation–the above tech companies wanted to get one last pitch in front of Genachowski before he makes his announcement.