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- The FCC voted to repeal net neutrality on Thursday morning and tech companies and executives spoke out in disappointment, and expressed desires to appeal the decision in court.
- The tech community has been pro-net neutrality since the plan to repeal was announced.
Tech execs from Sheryl Sandberg to Microsoft’s Brad Smith spoke out on Thursday to decry the FCC’s controversial vote killing net neutrality.
The move by the FCC eliminates rules that stop broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon from charging customers more for access to certain sites, blocking or slowing down competitors content, and charging for internet “fast lanes.”
Pro-net neutrality groups argue that the rules are necessary to ensure a level internet playing field. And many of the big internet companies wasted no time in speaking out against the FCC move.
Here’s how some of the top tech companies and industry executives reacted to Thursday’s controversial vote:
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association, an industry organization whose members include Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce issued a statement on the IA’s website with plans to fight back.
“The internet industry opposes Chairman Pai’s repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order. Today’s vote represents a departure from more than a decade of broad, bipartisan consensus on the rules governing the internet. Relying on ISPs to live up to their own ‘promises’ is not net neutrality and is bad for consumers.
“Let’s remember why we have these rules in the first place. There is little competition in the broadband service market – more than half of all Americans have no choice in their provider – so consumers will be forced to accept ISP interference in their online experience. This is in stark contrast to the websites and apps that make up Internet Association, where competition is a click away and switching costs are low.
“The fight isn’t over. Internet Association is currently weighing our legal options in a lawsuit against today’s Order, and remains open to Congress enshrining strong, enforceable net neutrality protections into law.”
— Mark Bergen (@mhbergen) December 14, 2017
Reddit’s user community has been incredibly active in speaking out against the repeal of net neutrality, and the company itself is also pro-net neutrality.
On Reddit, CEO Steve Huffman issued a statement from him and founder Alexis Ohanian thanking users for their activism and expressing disappointment and the desire to fight back.
“Nevertheless, today’s vote is the beginning, not the end. While the fight to preserve net neutrality is going to be longer than we had hoped, this is far from over.
Many of you have asked what comes next. We don’t exactly know yet, but it seems likely that the FCC’s decision will be challenged in court soon, and we would be supportive of that challenge. It’s also possible that Congress can decide to take up the cause and create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules that aren’t subject to the political winds at the FCC. Nevertheless, this will be a complex process that takes time.
What is certain is that Reddit will continue to be involved in this issue in the way that we know best: seeking out every opportunity to amplify your voices and share them with those who have the power to make a difference.”
Read the full comment here.
Business Insider received a statement from Twilio, written by Twilio general counsel Karyn Smith.
“Today’s vote to roll back net neutrality protections is a clear indication the FCC is moving away from its role to protect consumers. An open internet is vital to maintain competition and foster innovation – and for that we need basic ground rules and a transparent process to enforce them. We look forward to working with Congress to enact basic ground rules and a transparent process to enforce them. They should also direct the FCC to use its authority to ensure that consumers have access to the communications they want to receive.”
Microsoft CEO Brad Smith spoke out on Twitter:
The open internet benefits consumers, business & the entire economy. That’s jeopardized by the FCC’s elimination of #netneutrality protections today.
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) December 14, 2017
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke out on her personal Facebook page.
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