Internet companies press for net neutrality in FCC filing

Strong net neutrality rules should keep the Internet open, dynamic and spontaneous for all, the companies said

An association of more than two dozen technology companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Netflix urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday to create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules for wired and mobile networks.

The companies want to secure an open Internet for the future, they said in a comment filed by The Internet Association with the FCC. They want to prevent the segregation of the Internet into fast lanes and slow lanes as that will distort the market, discourage innovation and harm Internet users, they said.

The FCC is looking to create a new approach to regulating net neutrality after a U.S. appeals court threw out its original regulations in January. But the FCC prompted an outcry from Internet users by saying it wants to allow broadband providers to engage in "commercially reasonable" traffic management and would also allow paid prioritization in some cases.

The comment from The Internet Association, filed as the official comment period draws to a close, says the FCC should enforce a strong net neutrality by adopting "simple, light-touch rules to ensure that the Internet remains open, dynamic, and spontaneous." These rules should help the Internet be free from censorship, discrimination and anticompetitive behavior, and give consumers equal access to the content they want.

Broadband subscribers should get the bandwidth they are paying for and content should be treated equally, without degradations in speed or quality, meaning no artificial "slow lanes", they said. These rules should apply regardless of whether the Internet is accessed from a fixed or mobile access provider.

"Applying uniform rules across platforms promotes predictability, confidence, and certainty for all," the comment said.

The Internet Association's comment follows a plea Netflix made in March for strong net neutrality.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings warned at the time that without strong net neutrality rules, big ISPs could demand potentially escalating fees for the interconnection required to deliver high quality service and drive up costs and prices for everyone.

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