The head to head fight between internet service providers (ISP’s) and internet technology companies, represented by the Internet Association, lurched forward into the next round Monday. As PC World informs us, three dozen internet technology companies represented by a singular voice under the guise of the Internet Association filed a statement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create strong and enforceable regulations to maintain net neutrality. The debate between ISP’s and companies represented by the Internet Association has escalated since mid-May of this year when the LA Times tells us that in a three to two vote, the FCC voted to begin the months-long process of adopting new net neutrality rules. The FCC’s vote on the issue was prompted by a January court ruling that struck down the agency’s previous net neutrality rules.
According to Reuters, at issue is the ability of internet service providers to prioritize the speed at which internet traffic is directed over their networks, especially in regards to wireless carriers where Internet Association members fear that mobile ISP’s would attempt to charge a premium for faster internet speeds or access to exclusive content. Reuters further tells us that the Internet Association is represented by three dozen internet technology companies such as Google, Netflix, and Amazon. One could understand why these companies and others that are dependent on their customers’ ability to access their content via another company’s network would take a naturally defensive position on the issue of net neutrality. Reuters tells us that in its statement issued on Monday, the Internet Association said that it is against the possibility of internet service providers charging “for enhanced or prioritized access.” The Internet Association further said in its statement about the FCC’s effort to draft new net neutrality rules that, “The Internet is threatened by broadband Internet access providers who would turn the open, best-efforts Internet into a pay-for-priority platform more closely resembling cable television than today’s Internet.”
As the FCC considers public comment on the issue, Reuters goes on to tell us that Internet Association President, Michael Beckerman, plans to up the ante on the group’s publicity campaign advocating fair net neutrality rules. Mr. Beckerman said that, “We’re going to be getting pretty vocal about this issue” and, “It doesn’t make sense anymore to differentiate the way net neutrality applies to mobile and wireline.” Mr. Beckerman’s statement clearly indicates the group’s apprehension that wireless ISP’s might try to prioritize some content and connectivity speeds over others to their customers.
The concerns voiced by the Internet Association and its affiliated member companies about the FCC’s adoption of new net neutrality rules are with good reason. A very small group of five FCC commissioners will at the end of the day have an immense effect on what the internet of the future will look like. The FCC’s period for public comment on the future of net neutrality is still open. If you would like to get involved and make comment on the FCC’s effort to reshape the net neutrality rules, the Inquisitr will show you step by step how to make your voice heard on the issue.