Net neutrality repeal's opponents are speaking up — especially tech giants

"An internet without net neutrality protections would be the opposite of the open market"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published November 27, 2017 11:59AM (EST)

 (AP/Jeff Chiu)
(AP/Jeff Chiu)

President Donald Trump's plan to repeal net neutrality, as implemented by his FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, is being met with outspoken opposition by some of the biggest names in online commerce.

"Without these rules, internet service providers will be able to favor certain websites and e-businesses, or the platforms they use to garner new customers, over others by putting the ones that can pay in fast lanes and slowing down or even blocking others," explained a public letter signed by the leaders of online businesses — including Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter. "Businesses may have to pay a toll just to reach customers. This would put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from even getting off the ground."

The letter added, "An internet without net neutrality protections would be the opposite of the open market, with a few powerful cable and phone companies picking winners and losers instead of consumers."

It became clear that net neutrality would be done away with when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last week that he planned on completely repealing President Barack Obama's internet regulatory policies. It is expected that the FCC will vote to implement Pai's plan during its upcoming meeting on Dec. 14.

By repealing the net neutrality rules, the Trump administration would allow internet providers to block or throttle traffic as well as sell "fast lanes" to wealthier companies so that they can reach consumers more quickly. Under Obama's regulations, those practices were prohibited, with the overall goal being to guarantee equal and fair access to the internet for all American citizens.

The movement to repeal net neutrality has always been ethically questionable. Seventy-six percent of Americans support net neutrality, up from 60 percent of Americans in June. While the FCC was overwhelmed with messages that seemed to show Americans desiring a repeal of net neutrality, it has since been revealed that thousands upon thousands of those messages were sent by fraudulent sources.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Ajit Pai Donald Trump Fcc Federal Communications Commission Net Neutrality Reddit Tumblr Twitter