The coalition specifically objected to new rules the FCC is considering that could allow ISPs to charge companies extra to distribute their content to their customers, calling the proposals a “grave threat to the Internet.”
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Here’s the letter in its entirety:
Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Reilly:
We write to express our support for a free and open internet. Over the past twenty years, American innovators have created countless Internet-based applications, content offerings, and services that are used around the world. These innovations have created enormous value for Internet users, fueled economic growth, and made our Internet companies global leaders. The innovation we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination. An open Internet has also been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users.
The Commission’s long-standing commitment and actions undertaken to protect the open Internet are a central reason why the Internet remains an engine of entrepreneurship and economic growth.
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 to 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, discrim- ination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent. The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.
Such rules are essential for the future of the Internet. This Commission should take the necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce so that America continues to lead the world in technology markets.
Here’s a list of the more than 150 companies, including The Next Web, that signed the letter:
Vonage Holdings Corp.
Agile Learning Labs
Assembly Made, Inc.
Blu Zone C
Meteor Development Group
Minds + Machines
Opera Software ASA
Poll Everywhere, Inc
Rewheel/Digital Fuel Monitor Reylabs
The Next Web