TV Creators Warn FCC: Don’t Let Internet Become ‘Like Cable Television’

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As the Federal Communications Commission prepares new rules of the road for the Internet, more than 240 TV showrunners and creators have signed on to a Writers Guild of America West letter urging the commission to avoid regulations that would allow content companies to pay for speedier delivery to users.

The letter was the most significant response yet from Hollywood figures as the commission prepares for a key vote. In the letter, the writers argue that “if Net Neutrality is neutered, the Internet will become like cable television. A few corporate gatekeepers such as Comcast will be allowed to decide what content consumers can access and on what terms. The danger is that blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization could occur.

“This puts decision making and power over the Internet in the hands of the few, especially those with money. The Internet is too vital to the free exchange of ideas to allow the few companies who control Internet technology to edit the ideas and content that flow through it.”

The signers include an array of top showrunners, including John Wells, Matthew Weiner and Howard Gordon. “There are new buyers for what we as writers create. But if this new competition is unfairly pushed aside because the FCC adopts weak rules, rather than allowing consumers to decide what they prefer, neither innovation nor the best interests of society will be served,” the letter says.

TV Creators Warn FCC: Don’t Let Internet Become ‘Like Cable Television’