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Online Leaders Tell FCC Chairman to Protect a Free, Open Internet

eWeek - In an open letter to the FCC’s Wheeler, 149 Internet companies said ISPs shouldn’t be able to discriminate against them, technically or financially.

Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Ebay, Twitter and Microsoft are among 149 Internet-based companies that signed a May 7 letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, expressing their support for a “free and open Internet” and their concern over upcoming changes to the rules that govern the World Wide Web. The online innovations of the last 20 years “happened in a world without [online] discrimination,” the companies said, and the open Internet has “been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users.” They continued:

“According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers (ISPs) 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.”

While the FCC has yet to present the newest draft of the Open Internet Notice on Proposed Rulemaking, The Wall Street Journal reported April 23 that the FCC, while insisting traffic couldn’t be slowed, planned to allow companies to pay extra for faster service.