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Internet Heavyweights Join 80,000 Websites & Organizations In Support Of Net Neutrality

Tech

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Google, Facebook and Amazon are among the companies banding together as part of a “Day of Action.”

The biggest players on the web have joined forces for what’s being called a “Day of Action” to protest the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed rollback of a net neutrality policy passed in 2015. The rules, as they exist today, stipulate that “no one should control free open access to the Internet.”

Back in May, the FCC under the current administration put forth a proposal to undo the policy that was passed by a 3-2 vote in 2015. More specifically, the proposal aims to remove protections that prohibit providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon for impeding “free and open access” to the web.

Google and Twitter published blog posts in support for the existing net neutrality policy, and Reddit and Netflix have shared banner messages designed to demonstrate how a slowed-down or restricted Internet could detract from the user experience. Per the Mercury News, AT&T—a party that feasibly stands to benefit from the rollback—came out in support of the “Day of Action” and called for an “open internet for decades to come.”

So, if providers like AT&T are in favor of net neutrality, who is supporting the rollback and why? Critics of the policy say that net neutrality represents a “federal overreach” and puts the federal government at the center of the equation, thus detracting from a competitive free market. As Forbes contributor Josh Steimle puts it, “If monopolies are bad, why should we trust the U.S. government, the largest, most powerful monopoly in the world?”

The tension point, therefore, seems more rooted in ideology and hypotheticals than anything immediately tangible. Proponents of net neutrality see the internet as a public utility and are in favor of regulative policies that keep it free and unfettered for all. Detractors believe that involving the federal government risks stifling the innovation that comes with a free and competitive market.

While the vast majority of companies and individuals in the tech sector stand in favor of net neutrality, it’s interesting that both sides of the debate cite greater freedom as the determining factor when it comes to their support. Where do you fall?

 

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