Major tech companies call for net neutrality to be guaranteed

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Nearly 150 major technology and internet companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo and eBay, have asked the US Federal Communications Commission to guarantee a ‘free and open internet’.

The companies made their request in an open letter addressed to the FCC. The letter has been signed by nearly 150 companies, including Reddit, Mozilla, iFixit, DuckDuckGo and Dropbox. “Instead of allowing individualized negotiation and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and internet companies, for both fixed and mobile platforms, from blocking, discriminating and paid prioritization,” the companies write. They also believe that the market for internet services should be more transparent. “These rules are essential for the future of the Internet,” they declare.

The technology and internet companies are responding by calling for a new net neutrality proposal that the FCC will decide on May 15. This proposal would make so-called fast lanes possible: if the plan goes ahead, cable operators will be allowed to pass on certain services more quickly if the companies behind those services pay for it. For example, Google would have to pay for fast transfers from YouTube and Netflix for its video service. “If this is true, it is a major threat to the Internet,” the companies write. Incidentally, some committee members call for the vote to be postponed, CNet writes.