A large group of tech companies with interests in the net neutrality debate have sent an open letter to Congress and the FCC, opposing the reclassification of broadband under Title II common carrier—a move supported by current President Barack Obama.
The reclassification—according to the “Telecommunications Industry Association”—will affect investment and development of broadband and fiber in the next years. The lack of return of investment due to regulation could cause a halt in broadband speed.
The alliance includes companies like Qualcomm, Cisco, Intel, IBM and others. Most of the companies have a role in network management, component manufacturing and outsourcing—giving them an active stake in the net neutrality debate. Other companies like T-Mobile have opposed Title II common carrier, despite being more consumer friendly than their rivals. Anyone with a financial stake in the debate appears to be siding against more regulation, for obvious reasons.
However, there are still hundreds of Internet based companies all for more regulation on the Internet. Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter and Google are all pushing their own ideas through the Internet Association, a major lobbying group. Google has been rather distant in the conversation, compared to other companies. It looks like Google has various financial interests and isn’t that focused on the net neutrality debate, despite potentially having the biggest loss factor if fast-lanes become relevant.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said there are a few issues with Title II reclassification, although the FCC could press for reclassification without some of the problematic parts. The previous hybrid regulation was not enough for public advocacy groups, claiming broadband companies still had loopholes to offer priority.
The net neutrality debate has passed across the ocean to Germany this week, with Chancellor Angela Merkel also voicing support for a two-lane broadband system.
[Image via commondreams]