Internet Tech News

Internet Pioneers Beg the FCC to Save Net Neutrality

Dave Parrack 11-12-2017

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looks set to repeal net neutrality. However, a host of internet pioneers have made a last-ditch attempt to prevent this from happening. These pioneers include people who literally helped create and develop the internet we all use every day.


The FCC, headed by Chairman Ajit Pai, is holding a vote on Thursday (December 14) to repeal net neutrality. We have documented the ways in which repealing net neutrality is bad for ordinary internet users Net Neutrality Explained: This Is What's Going to Happen to the Internet Net neutrality is under attack again, and it's not looking good. Here's what you must know about the repeal of net neutrality and what it means for the web. Read More , but it looks as though the FCC is determined to follow through on its dumb plan.

These Internet Pioneers Have Our Backs

In advance of the FCC vote, a group of “internet pioneers and leaders” have written an open letter to the FCC and members of Congress asking them to postpone proceedings. The short and unsubtle letter has been published on Tumblr, and the signatories haven’t pulled any punches.

The signatories include Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, Vint Cerf, who helped create the underlying technology, Steven Bellovin, who helped develop Usenet, Mitchell Baker of the Mozilla Foundation, and Steve Wozniak, the other Steve who co-founded Apple.

Beyond the usual complaints that repealing net neutrality means ISPs could create slow lanes, the letter states that “the FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology.” In other words, the FCC is acting out of ignorance.

Then there’s the fact the FCC has ignored millions of comments by U.S. citizens, and the lack of “a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order.” The letter closes by saying this is “an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create.”


Is This All Too Little, Too Late?

It looks unlikely anything will deter the FCC from repealing net neutrality at this late stage. However, even if this letter doesn’t change the outcome it’s good to see internet pioneers lining up alongside ordinary internet users who realize this is bad for everyone other than the ISPs Will ISPs Help Protect Net Neutrality? Spoiler Alert: No There are claims that net neutrality could soon be taking a big hit in the United States. Is this true? What's going to happen to net neutrality? Are ISPs on our side or not? Read More .

What do you think of the FCC’s plans to repeal net neutrality? Are you concerned about the possible consequences? Or do you think it’s mostly scaremongering? Do you think this letter will have any impact on the forthcoming vote? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Eric Fischer via Flickr

Related topics: ISP, Net Neutrality, Politics.

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    November 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

    You've mashed too many things together as well as decreeing permanent that which can easily be undone.

    December 12, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Great useful Info. Thanks

  3. Fred Thompson
    December 12, 2017 at 1:30 am

    "Net Neutrality" is an Orwellian term; it is the opposite of what would happen. It placed the government as arbiter of what is "fair" and what is "correct" and did NOTHING to reduce the monopoly on information which is FacebookGoogleAmazon. It is also incredibly anti-competitive which means it would reduce the economic incentive to provide better service at a lower price to customers.

    • Jim Maynes
      December 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      I see this idea posted but it's looking through an idealized perspective. Yes, no one can compete with these monolithic tech giants but if the net neutrality protections are removed then we are essentially guaranteed to have zero competition. Why? Let's see:

      1) If the ISPs can charge for "fast lanes" then no new competitor will ever be able to out-spend Amazon or Google to have their site/product be visible more quickly and easily to consumers. How can there be any competition when visibility to consumers is all based on cash reserves.
      2) In terms of ISP competition, there are a large number of US cities (I won't say most) that have granted monopolies to the physical infrastructure to 1 or 2 ISPs. The only way for a new ISP to compete would be to literally buy the land rights from property owners to build poles or bury lines on their properties. All the right-of-ways have already been granted to those existing ISPs.

      Net neutrality protections are not perfect and have lots of weaknesses but without them we are guaranteed your described "Orwellian" future.

      • Fred Thompson
        December 12, 2017 at 11:49 pm

        You've mashed too many things together as well as decreeing permanent that which can easily be undone.
        Market monopoly is easy to destroy. All it takes is political will.
        Speed is not the end-all be-all of market size. Never has been, never will be. Content is king.
        Common carrier status worked perfectly well. The "problem" was created by politicals who decided they should have power to monitor and control what people do. They decided common carrier status had to go because they wanted power over people.
        All you really need to know is that the monopoly internet content companies want Net Neutrality. Would they WANT a system in which they can be challenged? Of course not. Ergo, they want to restrict competition while appearing to be "for the little guy and equality."
        It really is that simple.

    December 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    We can all see that the FCC has been bought . People need to say it out loud....graft , corruption , backhanders.
    Speak up people.
    Are you dummies in the US ??? Have you been trumped ????