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- Business Insider asked some of the biggest tech firms in the US about the FCC’s plans to kill net neutrality.
- Netflix, Facebook, Google and more are all speaking out in support of net neutrality, and against the FCC’s plans.
The FCC is planning to kill net neutrality — and some tech companies are starting to speak out.
In December, the US telecoms regulator is planning to roll-back Obama-era rules that ensure net neutrality — the principle that all data must be treated equally, and companies can’t charge for preferential access.
The plan is expected to pass, and if it does, it will mean ISPs and telecoms firms are able to charge companies for access to “fast lanes,” or even block certain apps altogether.
Pro-net neutrality activists, who argue the principle creates a level playing-field online, are up in arms about the plan. And some tech companies are now speaking out in support of net neutrality as well, from Facebook to Netflix.
Business Insider reached out to some of the biggest tech firms in America today to ask for their reaction to the FCC’s plan. Their initial responses are below, and we will continue to update this post as more come in.
Facebook: Net neutrality ensures ‘the internet remains open for everyone’
In an emailed statement, Facebook’s vice-president of US public policy Erin Egan said: “We are disappointed that the proposal announced today by the FCC fails to maintain the strong net neutrality protections that will ensure the internet remains open for everyone. We will work with all stakeholders committed to this principle.”
Google: ‘We are disappointed’
A Google spokesperson says: “The FCC’s net neutrality rules are working well for consumers and we’re disappointed in the proposal announced today.”
Netflix: ‘We oppose the FCC’s proposal’
In a tweet sent on Tuesday, video-streaming giant Netflix signaled its support of net neutrality and its opposition to the FCC’s plans.
“Netflix supports strong #NetNeutrality. We oppose the FCC’s proposal to roll back these core protections.” In response to a Twitter using calling for it to take action, it added: “We’ve been supporting for years thru IA and Day to Save Net Neutrality with a banner on Netflix homepage for all users. More info in Q4 2016 earnings letter, as well. This current draft order hasn’t been officially voted, so we’re lodging our opposition publicly and loudly now.”
The company did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for additional comment.
Reddit: Net neutrality is ‘crucial to innovation’
The Reddit community is fiercely pro-net neutrality, and has been up in arms about the plans. Most of the top posts on the social news and community site right now are calls to arms, or highly critical messages targeting the FCC.
The company itself is also pro-net neutrality.
In a statement, a Reddit spokesperson said:
“Reddit is actively monitoring the FCC’s proposed rule changes that could dismantle net neutrality as we know it. From farmers in South Dakota to musicians in Kentucky to small business owners in Utah, net neutrality is just as important to redditors as it is to Reddit and we will continue to advocate for and work constructively to maintain a free and open Internet. It is crucial to innovation and the health of our economy that small businesses have equal access to the internet, with winners and losers chosen by consumers, not ISPs.”
Internet Association: The proposal ‘defies the will of millions of Americans’
The Internet Association, an industry body whose members include Amazon, Dropbox, Ebay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Spotify, Uber, and others, put out a statement on Tuesday criticising the plans. It said:
“Chairman Pai’s proposal, if implemented, represents the end of net neutrality as we know it and defies the will of millions of Americans who support the 2015 Open Internet Order. This proposal undoes nearly two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans’ ability to access the entire internet.
“The 2015 Order created bright-line, enforceable net neutrality protections that guarantee consumers access to the entire internet and preserve competition online. This proposal fails to achieve any of these objectives. Consumers have little choice in their ISP, and service providers should not be allowed to use this gatekeeper position at the point of connection to discriminate against websites and apps.
“Internet Association and our members will continue our work to ensure net neutrality protections remain the law of the land.”
Oracle: Declined to comment
Enterprise tech giant Oracle declined to comment when reached by email.
Salesforce: Reitereated the Internet Association’s position
Salesforce, a member of the Internet Association, directed Business Insider to the industry body’s statement when reached for comment.
Apple, Twitter, Cisco, and IBM did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. We will update this story as we hear back.