If you haven’t been living under a pile of rocks, then you’d have already heard that Obama era net neutrality laws were revoked last night. The United States Federal Communications Commission, under the command of Chairman Ajit Pai, has removed the stringent net neutrality laws enforced by the Obama administration and the tech community isn’t particularly supportive of this anti-net neutrality decision.
The decision to repeal the existing net neutrality rules is a punch in the gut for internet denizens. It means that telecom giants and ISPs now have the freedom to control the flow of content on the web if they wish to. They’re no longer under the thumb of the U.S government and it is highly possible that they will come up with differential pricing plans for Internet services that we use on the daily, really soon.
The tech community, especially the high ranking executives and legal experts, has been pro-net neutrality from the beginning and is standing by its word even after the FCC’s decision to repeal the existing laws. The community spoke out about its disappointment in the decision and how the companies plan to take action against the same in court.
This is how some of the most popular tech companies and organizations reacted to the anti-net neutrality decision passed by the FCC:
The ISPs, who play the most important role in this decision, have come forward and put out statements in support of net neutrality. Comcast now has a dedicated page to tell its users how the company still supports the open Internet agenda. But, does it leave any wiggle room to make the subscribers pay more? Maybe.
Though the Redmond giant didn’t put out an official statement, Microsoft’s President and CLO Brad Smith took to Twitter to express his views on the FCC’s decision: “The open internet benefits consumers, business & the entire economy. That’s jeopardized by the FCC’s elimination of #netneutrality protections today.
Google, on the other hand, reached out to Bloomberg’s business and tech reporter Mark Bergen to dispense their statement in support of net neutrality. The search giant is now planning to work with other pro-net neutrality supporters to find an enforceable action to protect the same.
Amazon’s Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels also decided to jump onto Twitter to air his views in support of net neutrality. He said: “I am extremely disappointed in the FCC decision to remove the #NetNeutrality protections. We’ll continue to work with our peers, partners and customers to find ways to ensure an open and fair internet that can continue to drive massive innovation.
The largest social network has always believed in a free Internet, which should extend to every person on the planet. Thus, it is also standing against the decision. Facebook’s COO Sherly Sandberg expressed her disappointment on her personal Facebook page and said: “Today’s decision from the federal communications commission to end net neutrality is disappointing and harmful. An open internet is critical for new ideas and economic opportunity – and internet providers shouldn’t be able to decide what people can see online or charge more for certain websites. We’re ready to work with members of Congress and others to help make the internet free and open for everyone.”
Being a supporter of free speech, the micro-blogging platform has been pro-net neutrality from the start. It has been a huge supporter of the campaign against the FCC by providing people the necessary platform to voice their words. This is Twitter’s complete statement in opposition to the decision: “The @FCC‘s vote to gut #NetNeutrality rules is a body blow to innovation and free expression. We will continue our fight to defend the open Internet and reverse this misguided decision.”