Silicon Valley giants have signed a letter addressed to the Federal Communication's Commission, opposing plans to create "slow lanes" on the Internet.
The companies Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Dropbox and Yahoo were among the signees backing the continued equal treatment of all data flowing through the Web, which gives personal blogs the same speed opportunity as famous websites.
“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 impose new tolls on them,” the companies wrote in the letter.
“If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet. 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 disappearance of Net Neutrality – a phrase used to describe a free and open Internet – would lead to Internet Service Providers being able to sell broadband packages similar to cable TV, where more expensive packages would provide satisfactory connection speeds to popular websites.
Popular websites would, as a result, be able to buy "fast lanes" from ISPs, leaving smaller competitors and start-ups behind, and causing a growing migration of users from free services to paid services.
The end result for Internet users would be higher connection costs, slower speeds for a majority of webpages, less choice of usable primary services, and an Internet ecosystem in which the barriers to the mass-market are more akin to a security fence.
Ultimately, the battle looks likely to be won by the FCC, which appears to favor the increasing dominance of ISPs over the ideal conditions for tech giants. Critics argue that consumers would be paying extra to limit the quality of their online experience, and prevent innovation of all kinds from gaining recognition.