Mozilla leads push for FCC to reinstate net neutrality

Federal Communication Commission Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel testifies before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee at the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill on December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Technology companies led by Mozilla are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to quickly reintroduce the net neutrality rules that were abolished under the Trump administration.

In a letter to the acting chairman of the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel Friday, ADT, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Reddit, Vimeo and Wikimedia, together with Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, named net neutrality “crucial to keeping the Internet free and open Medium “promotes innovation and promotes economic growth. “

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not allowed to prefer or throttle the service to websites that rely on it. Net neutrality was introduced under the Obama administration by reclassifying ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, making them “joint carriers” more regulated. The Trump FCC, led by then chairman Ajit Pai, set out to reverse the rule and was ultimately successful despite a legal challenge led by Mozilla.

While ISPs have made few changes in the absence of net neutrality rules, proponents have hoisted flags on a handful of actions. One example is AT & T’s practice of excluding its own HBO Max streaming from counting towards the upper data limits of cell phone customers.

AT&T announced Wednesday that it would scrap such an agreement after a federal court upheld California’s net neutrality law, which bans “sponsored data”. AT&T said the change would apply beyond California, noting that “a state approach to” net neutrality “is impractical”. California law was created after the rule was rolled back at the federal level.

In a blog post on Friday, Amy Keating, Mozilla’s chief legal officer, said the pandemic had made the need for net neutrality rules even clearer.

“In a moment when classrooms and offices are necessarily online, it is vital that rules are combined with strong government oversight and enforcement to protect families and businesses from predatory practices,” said Keating. “California residents will benefit from these basic protections based on a recent court ruling allowing the state to enforce its state net neutrality law. However, we believe that users across the country deserve the same ability to have their own online controls to carry out. ” Experience.”

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