Tech Companies Unite to Force FCC's Hand

May 09, 2014
By: Rory J. Thompson

In a rare case of comity and agreement, a number of prominent technology companies have issued an open letter – or challenge, if you will – to the Federal Communications Commission, calling on the governing body to keep the Internet open and free.

Forwarded on May 7 to any media that would publish it, the letter expresses the collective writers’ “support for a free and open Internet.”

Appearing above such notable signatories as Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, eBay (News - Alert) and others, the missive gets right to the point:

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. If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet.”

The writers go on to decry such possibilities, pointing out that the Net has been the major incubator and source over the past two decades for some of the most unique and breathtaking innovations in history:

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 rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low.”

With 129 companies signing the letter, it appears not unlike a modern day version of the Declaration of Independence, with notable businesses calling on the FCC (News - Alert) to do the right thing. The full copy of the letter can be accessed HERE.

Would you like to weigh in yourself? On Thursday, May 22, Carl Ford (News - Alert), CEO of Crossfire Media and a frequent TMCnet contributor, will be hosting a conference call on this very issue. Joining Ford will be Scott Bradner, the former Transport Director for the Internet Engineering Task Force, who has been at the heart of making it so that Internet Transport works efficiently over any network; David Frankel, CEO of ZIPDX and an advocate for HD Voice; and Glenn Richards (News - Alert), Executive Director of the VON Coalition and a Partner at Pillsbury Law. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today by clicking HERE. Remember: “Decisions are made by those who show up.”