Internet companies urge FCC to keep net neutrality rules in place

Internet companies urge FCC to keep net neutrality rules in place
© Greg Nash

A trade group representing the internet’s biggest companies urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to preserve its net neutrality rules, which are currently under threat from the agency’s Republican leadership.

In a filing to the FCC on Monday, the Internet Association argued that the regulations have helped the internet thrive.

“Since its inception, the internet has been governed by principles of openness and non-discrimination, and as a result, it has created unprecedented benefits for society and consumers,” the trade group wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Undoing or weakening the existing open internet rules will undermine these benefits, create uncertainty in the leading sector of our economy, and threaten the virtuous circle of broadband innovation.”

The Internet Association represents web giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing through a proposal that would repeal the legal framework for the rules, which prohibit internet service providers from blocking, slowing or giving preferential treatment to certain sites.

Republicans and the broadband industry have argued that the Obama-era order went too far by reclassifying ISPs as common carriers, which opened them up to tougher FCC regulation.

They argue that Congress should replace the FCC rules with legislation codifying net neutrality principles — though Democrats counter that any legislative replacement would unnecessarily water down the protections.