Twitter hails ‘critical’ net neutrality vote

Twitter hails ‘critical’ net neutrality vote
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Twitter is faving net neutrality.

In a blog post scheduled for Monday morning, the micro-blogging company is cheering the “critical” efforts of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which later this week will vote to issue the toughest Web access regulations the country has ever seen.

“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,” public policy manager Will Carty wrote in the post.

“This is the heart of Twitter," he added. "Without such net neutrality principles in place, some of today’s most successful and widely-known Internet companies might never have come into existence.”

Many other online companies from Etsy to Netflix have joined the chorus for strong Internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act. The message that strong rules would help protect startup companies and pave the way for the next Internet giants helped to convince Chairman Tom Wheeler to embrace the toughest possible rules, after previously leaning towards weaker regulations.

“Smart Internet policies in the U.S., including net neutrality principles, have spawned innovation, investment, and job creation — a ‘virtuous circle’ of innovation driving user adoption, leading to network investment, leading to inevitable continued innovation,” Carty added, using a phrase of Wheeler’s.

Wheeler and the two other Democrats on the commission are expected to vote on Thursday to issue rules that treat the Internet like a “telecommunications” service, unlike an “information” service, as the Web had previously been categorized. That would give the agency stronger powers to police people’s access and, supporters say, provide a strong cop on the beat to prevent abuse from providers such as Comcast or Verizon.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have urged the FCC to hold off as they develop legislation that codifies some net neutrality protections but limits the FCC in other ways. Twitter said it would “welcome” that legislation.