Internet Association calls for net neutrality legislation

8 Feb 2018

In a letter addressed to the US Senate, the Internet Association – representing companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter – has expressed support for the Senate Congressional Review Act resolution, put forward by some members of the Senate in an attempt to invalidate the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to reverse net neutrality rules. The association also notes that, while the resolution would 'help alleviate immediate concerns', a more long-term solution is needed. It calls for Congress to pass 'legislation that memorializes all of the protections from the 2015 Order', and to 'establish permanent net neutrality rules for consumers, startups, established internet businesses, and internet service providers'.

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The Internet’s success lies in its design, which is based on the principle of net neutrality. From the outset, the flow of all the content on the Internet was treated without discrimination. New entrepreneurs did not need permission or market power to innovate on the Internet. With the development of new digital services, especially the ones consuming high bandwidth such as high-quality video streaming, some Internet operators (telecom companies and ISPs) started prioritising certain traffic – such as their own services or the services of their business partners – based on business needs and plans, justifying such an approach with a need to raise funds to further invest in the network. Net neutrality proponents strongly fight back such plans arguing this could limit open access to information and online freedoms, and stifle online innovation.

 

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