Google, Netflix lead nearly 150 tech companies in protest of FCC net neutrality plan

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Nearly 150 Internet firms are banding together to call for more stringent net neutrality regulations on broadband providers. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the companies asked federal regulators to reconsider a proposal that critics fear would allow Internet providers to charge for faster, better access to consumers.

The list includes Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, along with dozens of other firms that called the prospect of paid fast lanes "a threat to the Internet."

With just a week to go before the Federal Communications Commission meets to consider its proposed new rules for ISPs, the letter represents a late attempt by Silicon Valley to take a stance on the open Internet.

"Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination," the companies wrote, "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 companies have not gone so far as to demand the FCC "reclassify" Internet providers under Title II of the Communications Act -- a move that would allow the commission to regulate ISPs more heavily, as it does with phone companies. The letter does not offer an alternative proposal. Even as the companies were writing to the commission, however, some at the agency were suggesting that the May 15 meeting be delayed.

Google, Netflix lead nearly 150 tech companies in protest of FCC net neutrality plan Huge coalition led by Amazon, Microsoft, and others take a stand against FCC on net neutrality (The Verge) Google, Facebook, Amazon protest Internet ‘fast lanes’ (The Hill) Amazon, Netflix and tech giants defend net neutrality in letter to FCC (GigaOm) Net Companies to FCC: Abandon 'Apparent' Net Neutrality Path (B&C) Internet Firms Disagree With FCC Broadband Rules (WSJ)