Mozilla rejects plan for Internet ‘fast lanes’

 

Mozilla has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to abandon its plans to allow Internet “fast lanes” in net neutrality rules.

In a filing on Monday, the Internet organization behind Firefox told the FCC it should instead regulate Internet providers like traditional telephone companies.

ADVERTISEMENT
That move “would give the FCC ample ability to adopt and enforce meaningful net neutrality,” Chris Riley, the company’s senior policy engineer, wrote in a blog post.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently announced plans to allow Internet providers to charge content companies for better access to subscribers.

That would be a shift from the original net neutrality rules, which prevented Internet companies from slowing or blocking access to certain websites.

Mozilla argues that, rather than allowing discrimination, the FCC should reclassify Internet providers “to shift its attention away from authority questions once and for all, and focus instead on adopting clear rules prohibiting blocking and discrimination online,” Riley wrote.

The company asked the FCC to reconsider its net neutrality protections so that they apply to "last mile" relationships between Internet providers and content companies, instead of just applying to the relationship between Internet providers and their end users.

“The path we propose is grounded in a modern understanding of technology and markets, and drawn from the perspective of Silicon Valley, where so many of the Internet’s inventions have originated,” Riley wrote.

“Mozilla’s proposal would help ensure that the Internet continues to be an innovative and open platform, central to our individual growth and our collective future.”

Wheeler has defended his net neutrality revamp, saying the agreements through which content companies pay for boosted traffic would have to pass a “commercially reasonable” standard that the commission will set.

Additionally, the agency has said the new net neutrality rules will establish a baseline level at which Internet providers must supply content companies with access to subscribers, in the hopes of ensuring that no Internet provider can slow traffic to a site to the point where that it is unusable.

But these reassurances have not quelled the concerns of critics, including Mozilla.

Mozilla is “concerned that the FCC’s approach would not adequately safeguard the open Internet,” Riley wrote.

“Innovation and competition require nondiscriminatory access for all edge providers to end user subscribers, without blocking, throttling or prioritizing one option relative to others,” the post said.