A group representing major technology firms, including Alphabet and Facebook, urged the FCC to abandon plans to reverse rules barring providers from blocking or slowing consumer access to web content. Elly Park reports.
A trade group representing major technology firms urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep its net neutrality rules. The Internet Association, which works with companies such as Alphabet, Facebook, and Netflix, said in its filing that the roll back will harm consumers. It also said, there is no evidence that the rules stifle investment. Hilary Kramer of A&G Capital Research. (SOUNDBITE) HILART KRAMER, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, A&G CAPITAL RESEARCHl (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The companies that want to see net neutrality overturned, they don't want net neutrality, it seems to be providers themselves. So, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T. What they gain, and they gain a lot, is that they can then start charging money. They can then start recognizing a lot more money coming in because, let's face it, reason why those telecom companies are doing so poorly on the telecom side, like AT&T, it's a struggle for them because it's becoming a commoditize business, while content continues to deliver more and more to people. They want that money. They wanna be able to charge. But it really would be terribly unfair and all these arguments really don't make any sense in terms of overturn net neutrality. It's important to have it for the future, for innovation, for us, as users of the internet, and for those who are starting new businesses." In 2015, the Obama administration reclassified internet service providers as a public utility, and all web content became equal. As a result, providers, such as Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T, were prohibited from charging more for sites that stream movies or promote a specific agenda. But in May, the new President Donald Trump-appointed FFC chairman Ajit Pai suggested removing the classification. The FCC has received more than 8.3 million public comments on his proposal. Pai will attend a hearing at the Senate on Wednesday.