Online Businesses Urge FCC To Keep Net Neutrality

Online businesses are urging the U.S. Government to keep Net Neutrality rules. A letter written to the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, November 27 noted several Internet businesses including Twitter, Tumblr, Etsy, Reddit, AirBnb, and Shutterstock were advocating the FCC to abandon their plans to remove Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality was introduced in 2015 to guarantee an open Internet with websites free for public use. However, the FCC recently announced a plan to dismiss Net Neutrality rules.

This would allow broadband service providers such as Comcast, Verizon, Spectrum, and others to have power over consumer access to the Internet. The FCC’s vote to dismiss Net Neutrality is set for December 14.

While many broadband service providers see the removal of Net Neutrality as a victory, online businesses that rely on free and open Internet are not as thrilled. According to Reuters, slowing access to Internet content may very well hurt the U.S. economy.

“This would put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from even getting off the ground,” said the letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

The FCC defended its pending decision to remove the Internet regulations. Up to 58% of businesses fear cyber attacks and the dismissal of the Net Neutrality rules, the FCC claims, may make the Internet a safer place.

FCC spokesperson Mark Wigfield said returning to the Internet framework prior to 2015’s Net Neutrality would increase the country’s investment in broadband networks. As a result, more Americans would be able to access the services broadband networks offer via the Internet.

However, news sources such as Forbes calls the FCC’s stance on net neutrality misguided. It isn’t enough for broadband networks to promise free consumer access if they still have the ability to limit consumer access.

This is why online businesses are so worried. However, Pai says online companies such as Twitter were thriving in the years prior to Net Neutrality and therefore will be able to do so again.

“There is nothing good for consumers and average users of the internet, or for the nation as a whole in repealing net neutrality,” said Forbes. “Returning to the way things were means that ISPs can act the way they did before net neutrality – which is why we needed net neutrality to begin with.”

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