Tech giants slam FCC plan for Internet ‘fast lanes’

by: William Neilson JrMay 8, 2014


A total of 145 companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, DropBox, and Yahoo issued a joint statement to FCC boss Tom Wheeler for his proposal to protect network neutrality by destroying it. The letter is not only signed by more than 100 Internet companies but also by two of five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission. In the letter, the companies take issue with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to regulate broadband providers:

“According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and impose new tolls on them.If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet. Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent.”

Wheeler’s proposed plan will give incumbents like AT&T, Verizon, and others the gatekeeper, pay-to-play efforts that they have been dreaming about for years. Of course, what is left out is a concrete course of action for the FCC other than taking the “necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce.”

Net Neutrality AGBeat

Mr. Wheeler has tried to push back against some of the furor generated by his proposal by promising that the FCC won’t allow the Internet to be divided into fast and slow lanes. However, unless the FCC reclassifies ISPs as common carriers under the Communications Act, any attempt to limit paid arrangements would be vulnerable to another legal challenge from the broadband providers.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has asked for a delay in the Commission vote on Wheeler’s rules. The FCC was to vote on May 15 on the new rules, then giving ample time for public comment before passage before passing the final version of the rules.

  • MasterMuffin

    Just fire the guy :)

    • Phil Rigby

      Yeah, then watch him get replaced by someone who’s in AT&T or Verizon’s back pocket. That’ll help.

      • MasterMuffin

        Don’t let that happen?

        • lolwut

          You act like we have the capability to do that, anyone here own a lobbyist or 10?

      • Guest123

        Have you read his background? He’s already in their pocket, that’s why he got the job.

  • n11

    He’s definitely hiding something, you can tell with the way he talks and no ability to back it up.

    • smokebomb

      He’s already been bought off. No matter how much opposition there is, the large corps will get their way. It wouldn’t be America if they didn’t.

  • Gilles LeBlanc

    Meh… Jiborish

  • Stex

    i am gonna move to a different country, if this happens..

    • smokebomb

      It’s all about the dollar in America. Whether it’s cell phones or a life saving medical procedure or drug. If you don’t have the cash you don’t get to play, or continue to live.

      • Robert Forslund

        Its been like that since Nixon’s days… The corporate America is the ones who actually run the nation. Corporations have all the power, they can buy politicians, threaten to withhold services and products some sectors might be dependent on and so on… =/

        The huge corporations pretty much owns the world… The oil-companies in particular hold the world with a firm grip and have no intentions of letting go. =P

    • Robert Forslund

      You’re welcome to Sweden! =D Although, things are getting just as bad over here unfortunately… =/

  • Exare

    This guy is a total dirtbag. I’ve been following his actions since he was placed into this position back in November. He’s re-canted, back peddled and back stabbed more times than I can count trying to play “good guy” while lobbying for this exact bullshit. He’s a fake and a special interest monger put there by communications companies to pull strings for them. For godsake here’s a quote from Wiki:

    “…Prior to working at the FCC, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, with positions including President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).”

    It’s like placing the head of Pepsi in charge of fat camp.

    I love the fact that all of these companies are hopping on board in unison to fight. These are businesses that we’re BUILT on the internet and rely on it so of course telecommunications companies like TW and Verizon are going to do everything they can to monetize on them. Without their service Google, FaceBook, all of them wouldn’t exist and they know that. They have them by the balls, “Oh you need this internet for your business… hmm, better pay up.” Fuck them. They have far too much power and it needs to be kept in check by somebody. Usually that’s the FCC’s job but this Wheeler prick is manipulating things.

    On a very related note, the guys at Fight for the Future are doing a great job of spreading awareness about this debacle on top of many other internet freedom related issues. I suggest taking a peek for yourselves at what they’re doing. I’ve signed petitions, e-mailed reps and senators, even donated to their cause a number of times. They know what they’re doing, they’re reputable (always sighting sources) and they’ve got great support from the community.

  • S Prime

    Does anyone really think that the FCC will grow a pair and stand up to the providers, in the defense of consumers, once this is voted in?