Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others band together in petition to FCC

protesters

If you've just crawled from beneath a rock then you may not be aware that Chairman Wheeler, head of the Federal Communications Commission, is proposing new rules regarding net neutrality. The current chairman is a former lobbyist and certainly can expect to land a posh position when his tenure ends. While that is Washington DC politics in a nutshell, it doesn't mean things must remain status quo.

Before getting to the open letter in question, a bit of background is in order. First, you can find the organization's "open internet" guidelines here. However, it is not all what it appears to be on the surface. The proposal from Tom Wheeler gives service providers, the likes of 600 pound gorilla Comcast, the right to prioritize traffic. This is something the cable/ISP companies have been doing for sometime in a successful effort to get money from places like Netflix.

It also means that is only the start -- smaller services will be asked to pay to play. While Netflix, YouTube and the like can afford this, many others will go out of business. These accusations caused Wheeler to take to his blog in a post he titled "Setting the Record Straight", though it did little of that.

Now multiple internet companies have joined together to sign an open letter to the FCC. This reads, in part "We write to express our support for a free and open internet. Over the past twenty years, American innovators have created countless Internet-based applications, content offerings, and services that are used around the world. These innovations have created enormous value for Internet users, fueled economic growth, and made our Internet companies global leaders. The innovation we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination. An open Internet has also been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users".

The letter is signed by Amazon, Cogent, Dropbox, Ebay, Etsy, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Kickstarter, Level3, LinkedIn, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Vonage, Yahoo and Zynga.

There is no guarantee this will work miracles, and readers are recommended to write and call their respective member of congress to help spearhead this initiative. Bear in mind, the cost paid by the services like Netflix will eventually find its way down to customers.

Image Credit: Danomyte / Shutterstock

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