Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay fight net neutrality with letter to Congress

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Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay fight net neutrality with letter to Congress

Internet Titans Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay, and IAX/InterActiveCorp joined together in writing a letter to Congressional Senators expressing their concerns about net neutrality. This is a clash of the titans for sure. Congress and the telecom/cable lobbyists on one side and large Internet behemoths on the other. Of course, a letter is a bit weak. The Internet titans need to pull out all the stops. Like cut the Senators access to, Yahoo and eBay. When they can't get their fix of Googling, Yahoo Mail, or eBay auctions they'll change their minds. Yup, no doubt about it. If that doesn't work, just capture Pegasus in the swamp, fly to Washington, D.C. , put on your invisibility helmet, walk past security - no need to slap any officers (ala Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney) - go straight into Congress's chambers, and using your impregnable sword given to you by Zeus, decapitate any net neutrality opponents. Ok, maybe not decapitate them, but give them a really good scare. Maybe wave the sword around making it appear to be floating by a supernatural force. Then pretend to be God and say "I am against blocking net neutrality. Do not anger me. Pass a net neutrality law..."

I'm just kidding.

Anyway, here's the letter:

Dear Senator,

We write to express our deep concern with the Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act, S. 2686. We ask you to insist that this legislation include meaningful and enforceable network neutrality provisions before it is considered by the full Senate.

The Internet has been an engine of economic growth and a vibrant platform for innovation and competition because of its open architecture. However, this open structure did not happen by accident; in fact, it is the product of non-discrimination rules that had long been in place to prevent network operators from limiting consumer choice.

Last summer, the Federal Communications Commission removed these protections. It is critical that Congress reinstate them in this bill and preserve consumer choice. The strong network neutrality amendment introduced by Senators Snowe and Dorgan would have done just that, but it was narrowly defeated in Committee on a bi-partisan 11 to 11 vote.

We fully support the goal of advancing competition in video services through franchise reform. But, as the telecommunications carriers increasingly use the broadband infrastructure to deliver their own video products, the only way to ensure that consumers will have real choice for video services is for Congress to re-establish meaningful network neutrality rules.

Without network neutrality, consumers will be restricted to online offerings limited by cable and telephone companies. For the first time, those companies - rather than consumers - will effectively become the gatekeepers to the Internet. Absent strong network neutrality provisions, consumers will no longer have the freedom to choose content from thousands of sources on an open Internet.Instead, the Internet will move backwards significantly with fewer options and limited choices.We ask that you protect their freedom.

We stand ready to work with you and your Senate colleagues to include meaningful network neutrality provisions in any national video franchising reform legislation considered in the 109th session.


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