The following is a i2Coalition member post from Eric Ellis of cPanel.
i2Coalition connects the leaders of Internet infrastructure businesses with legislators to make sure that they understand the Internet when writing laws and policies. We’re particularly invested that they don’t do anything stupid that will break the Internet or our businesses.
Net Neutrality is an issue that affects everybody, so it’s an all hands on deck moment. This week, with our users and clients, we’ll be going big. We’re also teaming up with Fight For The Future.
I want to spend a moment talking about why Net Neutrality matters to Internet companies in particular. We represent the Internet businesses that sit above the telecom layer. All the stuff it takes to build and run websites comes from us and companies like ours. The whole subject of net neutrality doesn’t focus on our part of the ecosystem, but on the broadband providers that give you Internet access to your home or business.
We have been communicating with the FCC, and writing public comments on this subject for years now. For the most part, we stand in support of the open Internet order and want to see it preserved. There are number of things that are important to the Internet ecosystem within the open Internet order. Walking back the order has the potential of disrupting the open Internet in destructive ways.
Of all concerns we have, probably the biggest one centers around something called paid prioritization. That’s where the broadband providers get to enter into special relationships with certain websites to get their websites into a “fast lane“ to get their content to users faster. There are a lot of problems with this idea.
The first one is pretty obvious; a “fast lane” doesn’t exist. Fiber is fiber, and things travel across it at the same speed unless another force is acting on it. That means that in order to build the fast lane, you basically need to slow everything else down. Quite simply, we don’t think our users should be artificially slowed down.
With extremely limited exception, the open Internet order bans paid prioritization. Walking back the order puts it back on the table, and that is dangerous.
The same thing is true for blocking and throttling. These are not allowed by order of the open Internet order, except for network maintenance reasons. That is extremely important to the open Internet, and the customers we serve. It needs to persevere.
These are two examples of why we are going to Washington this week, and teaming up with end-users to fight for the open Internet order, and to defend net neutrality. Honestly, the whole issue is extremely complex and difficult to encapsulate in a short blog post that people will actually read. However, the future of the Internet as you know it really does come down to a fight that is happening right now. We are proud to be on the front lines of it, fighting to preserve the open Internet.
US businesses, we could however, use your help.
Do you run a business based outside of the US and care about the open web? If so, please sign the open letter demanding the government keep strong net neutrality protections in place. The deadline for sign on is 5PM CET on Monday, September 25th.
The letter full list of signers will be on display at http://www.theworldfornetneutrality.com and the letter will be delivered to the US Federal Communications Commission on September 26.
Thank you for your support.