Twitter speaks up for FCC net neutrality plan

Keeping the Internet open promotes free speech and helps the US economy, Twitter said

With the Federal Communications Commission set to vote in three days on reclassifying broadband as public regulated utility, Twitter made its support for stronger net-neutrality rules official Monday.

In a blog post laying out its case, Twitter struck the theme of free speech, but also said that an Internet that supports Web businesses without barriers imposed by ISPs is critical for the economic competitiveness of the U.S.

"We need clear, enforceable, legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and continues to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. This is the heart of Twitter," the post said. Net neutrality rules would prevent ISP from determining what content, services and applications get used and shared on the Web, it said.

Twitter praised Chairman Tom Wheeler for proposing to use some aspects of the Title II of the Telecommunications Act to treat ISPs as common carriers. This move avoids heavy oversight and follows the relaxed regulatory approach the FCC applied to wireless services, the company said.

Twitter also backed Wheeler's decision to include oversight for both wired and mobile broadband service in his proposal.

Net neutrality "rules should govern Internet service whether users are at their desk at home or on their smartphone across town," the post said.

Wheeler's proposal marks a significant change from his earlier approach which would have allowed ISPs to engage in "commercially reasonable" network management.

Twitter's support for FCC action is no surprise: earlier this month the Internet Association, of which it is a member along with Google, Amazon, Netflix and others, issued a statement backing Wheeler's proposal.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
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