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Big Tech Argues in For Net Neutrality

by Countable | 11.30.17

What’s the story?

During this week of cyber shopping deals, more than 200 tech companies - including Twitter, Reddit, Airbnb, and Etsy – have sent the FCC a letter asking the agency to reconsider its plan to repeal "net neutrality."

The letter, addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, touted the growing role e-commerce plays in the American economy, noting that "last year, Americans spent almost $3.5 billion online on Cyber Monday, making it the largest online sales day in history." Spending on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and every other day in between led to nearly $400 billion in online retail sales last year. “The internet,” the letter stated, “is increasingly where commerce happens.”

It continued:

"This economic growth is possible because of the free and open internet."

The letter was written in response to the FCC’s announcement that it plans to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules that required internet service providers (ISPs) treat all web traffic equally. The rules prevented ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable from prioritizing or blocking content, essentially creating "fast" and “slow lanes” on the internet.

Pai said his proposal, known as "Restoring Internet Freedom," would “abandon this [current] failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades. Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet."

Restoring Internet Freedom will be put to a vote at the FCC’s December 14 meeting. With the GOP controlling three of the commission’s five seats, the net neutrality rollback is expected to pass. The Cyber Monday letter was an attempt to influence that vote.

Why does it matter?

Pai said that in place of net neutrality, "the FCC would simply require internet service providers [ISPs] to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."

In their letter, however, the tech companies write that any changes are unnecessary, as "our current net neutrality rules support innovation and give all businesses the opportunity to compete equally for consumers. With strong net neutrality protections, the internet is an open marketplace where any business can compete, allowing individuals to start companies easily, market their products across the country, and connect with customers anywhere worldwide."

They added:

"The current rules provide the protections necessary to protect net neutrality and ensure the internet remains a free and open marketplace that encourages innovation and supports robust competition."

Pai, however, wrote on page one of his proposal that Restoring Internet Freedom "will promote future innovation and investment. And more investment in digital infrastructure will create jobs, increase competition, and lead to better, faster, cheaper Internet access for all Americans, especially those in rural and low-income areas."

What do you think?

Which is it? Will repealing net neutrality "promote future innovation and investment"? Or do the current rules ensure the online marketplace “encourages innovation and supports robust competition”? Whether you’d sign the Cyber Monday letter, or vote with Pai, hit Take Action and tell your reps. Or use our widget to contact Pai directly.

—Josh Herman

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Written by Countable

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(114)
  • Kathy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    There is no reason to repeal net neutrality rules as they currently exist. They work to the benefit of the entire citizenry. At this (shopping) time of year particularly it seems the height of unreasonableness to think it makes sense to allow the slowing of the internet speeds at the whim of corporations. This is simply dumb.

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  • ocgreenmama
    11/30/2017
    ···

    I strongly support net neutrality backed by Title 2 oversight of ISPs. As a member of Congress, I urge you to put pressure on the FCC to maintain Net Neutrality. It is a protection for consumers - your constituents. It protects the right of people to have an open internet, where all traffic is treated equally. Protect consumers, not internet monopolies. Please keep the internet open and accessible to all Americans.

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  • Ron
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The FCC's move to remove the Net Neutrality rules will destroy equal opportunity for small and upcoming business. I am on the board of a small non profit corporation. 100% of all money received goes to our programs and college scholarships. We cannot afford to pay numerous service providers to have our content delivered quickly on the Internet. Use your influence to make sure that the Internet remains free and equal to all.

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  • KillazKing94
    11/30/2017
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    Keep Net Neutrality!!!!!

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  • Bryan
    11/30/2017
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    Why are all your policies trying to f-@$ us... tell the FCC to leave net neutrality alone!! Even FCC reps, other than Pai, argue in favor of keeping net neutrality as is.

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  • Hillary
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The tech companies are right and Pai is totally wrong. A free and open internet is THE basis for an equal playing field. Pai knows that the isp’s don’t want an equal field or fairness. What they want is to rape a profit by selling fast lanes and they don’t care if they kill new businesses trying to enter the market. What a despicable, disgusting, blatant show of favoritism and cronyism. And what kind of idiots are willing to swallow his line about cutting restrictions to empower business! The internet does not belong to Verizon or ATT or Comcast IT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE.

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  • Coty
    11/30/2017
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    There is a reason large tech companies support “Net Neutrality”. Netflix doesn’t want to pay more for using a massive amount of bandwidth. They want that consumer cost to be demanded by Time Warner, AT&T, etc. And they want everyone to pay an even amount, at a higher rate, instead of smaller companies paying less, and larger companies paying more. For consumers, it may be a wash, as it’s either the content makers or content senders that will increase costs. But the force of content senders to pay gives unfair advantage to Netflix, Reddit, etc by have the government force everyone to pay the same price, even small companies. Toll roads charge more for semis than sedans, it’s reasonable for ISP providers to use the same business model for the same services. This also comes at the cost of increased regulation compliance, something the large companies can afford, that smaller ones can’t. This is a perfect example of Crony Capitalism, of large companies in bed with large government, making it more difficult for smaller competitors to thrive, while lying to the public, saying its in our best interest. But it’s not, it’s in their best interest, which is completely acceptable. What’s not acceptable is using government and it’s monopoly on force for their own interests.

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  • NoHedges
    11/30/2017
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    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ☄️Removal of Net Neutrality violates mine and every other American’s 1st amendment rights. “Rolling back” the people rights is a deliberate and subversive attack from corporate lobbyists.

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  • Mary
    11/30/2017
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    Please do not vote to repeal net neutrality. It’s not good for the consumer.

    Like (7)
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  • Leah
    11/30/2017
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    Please do not allow the rollback of net neutrality regulations. The thinly veiled excuses for doing so don’t hide the fact that the only benefactors of this move are ISPs. Consumers and businesses both will suffer under the new rules. I urge you to take action on this issue. It is incredibly important to me and I will not forget your stance.

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  • Bill
    11/30/2017
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    Leave the Internet alone. Pai says that the current plan is not working? What is his “opinion” based on. Is it because “We the People”, the 99%, are getting the same speed as the 1%? Does Pai listen to the people he is supposed to be serving. Most comments appear to be against changing what IS working. ISP’s are making plenty of money while allowing equal access and speed to all comers.

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  • Nils
    11/30/2017
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    Leave the internet alone. It was created to share information equally and for all. It’s not broken and doesn’t need fixing.

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  • Judith
    11/30/2017
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    Keep net neutrality, period.

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  • RadicalModerate
    11/30/2017
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    Impeach DONALD THE PUSSY GRABBER TRUMP. send his whole cabinet to Guantanamo bay.

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  • Mary ann
    11/30/2017
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    These results are the reason we need to keep the internet neutral. Those who want to use it will, wheather for convenience, or deals that are easier to find on the internet with much less stress! If internet companies are allowed to decide who gets the highest speed internet, many will be cut out of the process. The Retail Use as featured will benefit them with stock roll over and determining sales stocks.

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  • NoHedges
    11/30/2017
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    Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. -Robin Morgan Time to make a choice girls and boys which side of history you want to be on.

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  • Susan
    11/30/2017
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    I am against changing the net neutrality rules. Regulations exist because corporations just DO NOT self regulate.

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  • Josh
    11/30/2017
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    Please defend net neutrality!

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  • Shari
    11/30/2017
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    The removal of net neutrality will mean higher prices and skewed information. We supposedly live in a free country why would the administration take that away? Is it to force us to read and listen to FOX news stroke the ego of 45? Maybe the intent is to drive traffic to only stores that make more money for the administration. I have had it with the GOP idea of nobody else deserves. This country belongs to all of us and we have a constitutional right for our voices to count.

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  • Gordon
    11/30/2017
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    Save net neutrality!

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