"Net neutrality" has been in the news for quite a while now. It is a plan that would regulate how internet service providers manage web traffic. The Federal Communications Commission of USA has proposed the rules which could potentially threaten a "free and open Internet" according to Senator Al Franken (D-Minn).
Now, over 100 leading tech firms that include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and Amazon, have written to the U.S. telecom regulators. The letter to FCC's Chairman Tom Wheeler, warns of a "grave threat to the Internet." The vote on the plan has been scheduled for May 15.
Sen. Franken has said that the rules that the FCC Chairman proposes would let corporations buy into an Internet "fast lane," at the expense of consumers and smaller and emerging companies. Mozilla, Netflix Inc and Reddit have criticized the proposed rules since the creation of the proposal.
Net neutrality could potentially allow big corporations to get their content to consumers faster than their rival creating higher rates for Internet services, and new obstacles to accessing the content that users want, according to Franken.
The tech firms opposing the rules have said in the letter that "[The FCC must] take the necessary steps to ensure that the internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce."
Public interest groups have become increasingly concerned that the new rules will end “net neutrality” – the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally on the web. “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,” the tech companies wrote in their letter. “If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet.”
More than a million people have already signed petitions to FCC calling upon them to enshrine net neutrality rules and prevent a tiered system.
Watch Franken’s statement in the video below, followed by a transcript of his remarks: