Google, Facebook, Amazon protest Internet ‘fast lanes’

More than 100 Internet companies, including industry giants Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter, are asking the Obama administration to do more to protect net neutrality.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, the companies protested a new plan to allow Internet “fast lanes” as the agency rewrites its net neutrality rules, calling the plan “a grave threat to the Internet.”

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“The innovations we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination,” the letter said.

Other signatories include Microsoft, Yahoo, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn and Netflix, vocal critics of Internet “fast lanes.”

The letter comes as the FCC prepares to vote on a proposal from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that would allow Internet providers to charge content companies for better access to subscribers.

Wheeler is attempting to rewrite the net neutrality rules after the original rules, which kept Internet providers from slowing or blocking access to certain websites, were struck down by a federal court earlier this year.

Critics have slammed Wheeler’s plans, despite his assurances that the agency won’t let deals to boost Internet traffic harm competition or consumers, and that Internet providers must ensure that websites and online services work as intended.

“Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies” from “blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization,” the companies wrote.

“The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the cost of regulation low.”

The companies urged the commission to “take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets.”