The Internet Association, a group representing major tech firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, on Monday urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end plans to reverse 2015 rules prohibiting ISPs from manipulating the speed of consumers while accessing the internet.
In its filing on Monday, the organization said the reversal of net neutrality rules would introduce significant uncertainty, and would threaten the virtuous circle of innovation that has made the cloud economy the leading driver of economic growth in the U.S.
After over a decade of debate and several attempts to adopt net neutrality protections, the Commission adopted enforceable light touch rules in 2015, including bright line rules restricting blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet traffic by ISPs, a rule prohibiting unreasonable interference or disadvantaging of lawful internet traffic, and an enhanced transparency rule.
According to the Internet Association, it “has consistently been in favor of clear net neutrality rules that protect consumers’ ability to enjoy the unfettered ability to access the lawful content of their choice.” After years of claims that net neutrality protections were not needed and challenges to past Commission attempts to enforce open internet protections or enact rules, “there is broad consensus today among even ISPs that bright line open internet protections are needed and that consumers should have unfettered access to an open internet,” the group stated.
The group urged the Commission to maintain strong and enforceable net neutrality rules so that the U.S. internet economy may continue its “unparalleled success story and deliver competition and consumer choice to U.S. consumers in the years to come.”