Some of the biggest tech firms in the world have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, in protest of the group’s proposal that would allow ISPs to charge for faster, better access to consumers. The debate over so-called net neutrality has been going on for years, but recently the FCC has been making plans to allow a change in laws, which has helped to bring this issue back into the headlines.
The tech firms include Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and many others who claim that the move would be a threat to the Internet. The FCC will be meeting next week to consider their proposed new rules, so this protest letter from tech firms may be seen as a last effort to slow down or halt the potential changes that will come from the meeting.
In the letter, the companies wrote, “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.”
There is some indication that the FCC may delay the meeting so as to hear further public opinion on the matter. An FCC Commissioner said, “I can tell you right now I have real concerns about process. Rushing headlong into a rulemaking next week fails to respect the public response to his proposal.”
The FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, however indicated that he does plan to address the issue of net neutrality next week, saying, “Moving forward will allow the American people to review and comment on the proposed plan without delay, and bring us one step closer to putting rules on the books to protect consumers and entrepreneurs online.”
Having the plan publically proposed, which is expected to occur on May 15th, if there are no delays, will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the idea. There is no estimated time when any changes would officially become effective.