The fight over Net Neutrality shows no signs of letting up. Last month, the Federal Communications Commission created waves with new proposed rules that would open the door for large companies to pay Internet Service Providers for better connections to customers.
In response to the backlash from Internet commentators, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler clarified the FCC's position and made it clear that the changes wouldn't hurt consumers.
Then major Internet network company Level 3 charged that five American ISPs were intentionally slowing down data to extort money from content providers. It's unknown at this point if the charge is true, but this claim is exactly what critics of the FCC's new rules fear will happen.
Now, the newest round of the debate over Net Neutrality is getting started and major tech companies have come out swinging. 149 companies - including Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Twitter - signed a letter to the FCC calling on it to keep a "free and open Internet."
The letter goes on to say:
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. If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet.
Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent. The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.
Such rules are essential for the future of the Internet. This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets.
Is this going to change the way the FCC handles the situation? I'll keep you informed as the fight continues.