Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Big Tech Companies Lobby FCC to Preserve Net Neutrality Rules

Hamza Shaban, Buzzfeed:

Top officials from the Internet Association, a trade organization that represents Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix, among others, urged Pai to keep and enforce existing open internet rules. “The internet industry is uniform in its belief that net neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and innovation online,” the group’s officials said, according to a summary of the meeting filed with the FCC.

The Internet Association also told the FCC chair that, according to their own preliminary economic research, net neutrality rules did not negatively impact broadband investment, which contradicts claims from the telecom industry that the regulations would stymie innovation.

It’s in the interests of even the biggest tech firms to preserve these rules, as I explained last week, in response to Bloomberg’s report on Comcast’s coming Netflix competitor:

With the FCC’s current attempts to dismantle net neutrality regulations, don’t be surprised if this service doesn’t count against Comcast subscribers’ bandwidth caps or limits. Also don’t be surprised if, at some point, NBC’s news channels — NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC — become part of something like this, thereby making it more expensive to watch other news networks. Netflix would also become more expensive under such a scheme, too.

ISPs are attempting to exert tight control over the creation and distribution of media; to compete at the same level, tech companies would also have to become ISPs across the United States. As Google found out, that’s unfathomably difficult due to the permits, time, and infrastructure required. Since it’s unlikely that Comcast and AT&T will be deconstructed à la Ma Bell, tighter regulation is necessary.