When Tom Wheeler, chairman of FCC(Federal Communications Commission) expressed his idea on proposing a new Net Neutrality rule, the Internet exploded with rage and 20 top Tech Giants including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and Facebook wrote a letter to the FCC asking to stop the rule to put into effect, warning them of handicapping innovations and making the Internet side with wealthy people while depriving others.
The FCC’s intent with the new Net Neutrality rule will allow broadband carriers acting as gatekeepers and charging Web sites a payola payment to reach customers through a “fast lane.” which is exactly what US president Obama warned against. There has been a huge public outcry against the new rule and people have critisized the new rule as “Net Discrimination Rule” rather than Net Neutrality rule, stating that it will profoundly change the Internet as a platform for free speech and small-scale innovation. It threatens to make the Internet just like everything else in American society: unequal in a way that deeply threatens our long-term prosperity.
Merely hours after the tech giants wrote a letter to the FCC warning against the implementation, nearly 138 high – profile Venture capitalists, including Coursera, GitHub, Mozilla and BitTorrent joined hands with the tech giants, to make things veen worse for the FCC’s chairman. The letter addressed to him cites-
“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, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent.”
The companies terms these rules as a “grave threat” to the internet. The full letter, which contains the full list of all companies against this rule. Making matters even worst is the fact that few senators blasted the rule stating that
Unfortunately, we fear that specific provision of NPRM may be insufficient to accomplish the task. The current internet is a free market of products and ideas unparallelled in human history and FCC must preserve the type of Internet access that allows the market place to thrive….. changing the rules wold eradicate net neutrality, not preserve it. Anytime one group of packets is favored on an IP network, the rest of the packets, by definition, discriminated against…”
The full letter written by 10 senators including Wyden, Warren, Franken, and Booker can be found here. People have gone ahead and created a petition to remove Tom Wheeler from the FCC chairman position, which shows the impact of such rule. Experts say that it is infact possible for Tom Wheeler to invoke the Title II to make this rule come into force, should the 706 authority fail and that would be extremely detrimental to the internet once and for all, making the risks very real that would make almost impossible for startups and small companies reach out to it s customers and fail miserably even before they have the chance to try.
We request the readers to put in your thoughts on this in the comments below, as this seems to be the second time the Internet will go on strike, after the SOPA protests in 2011. Interestingly, Wikipedia which was the major force behind the SOPA protests did not sign on this letter for unknown reasons.