Nearly 150 tech companies including Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Amazon (AMZN) all joined in sending an open letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and the agency’s four commissioners, to warn them that proposed net neutrality plan, which would create an Internet “fast lane”, pose a “grave threat to the internet”.
“According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them,” says the letter, pointing out that FCC rules should not permit “individualized bargaining and discrimination.”
“If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet…[The FCC must] take the necessary steps to ensure that the internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce,” the letter says.
Missing in action from the letter are the major carriers, ISPs, and Apple (AAPL). While it does seem odd that Apple didn’t sign the letter, 9to5mac’s Chance Miller opined it’s possible that the company would “release a separate statement about the issue.”
One of the FCC commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, has called for a delay of “at least a month” on Chairman Wheeler’s plan.[via Reuters] “Rushing headlong into a rulemaking next week fails to respect the public response to his (Wheeler’s) proposal,” she said on Wednesday in remarks prepared for delivery to an industry meeting.
Despite Rosenworcel’s suggestion, Wheeler intends to put forward his plan for public comment next week/May 15.
The full text of the letter can be read here.