New International Open Letter Warns US over Net Neutrality Rollback
A growing network of international businesses and organizations are warning the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a rollback of Title II net neutrality rules could create “significant social and economic harms.” Earlier this year, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to roll back these rules that currently require US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to treat all Internet traffic equally — even traffic that originates from overseas.
Businesses and organizations that operate from outside the US, including European Digital Rights (EDRi), Startups for Net Neutrality and Dutch search engine StartPage.com are summing up their concerns over the rollback plans in new letter addressed to Pai and the US Congress.
While Pai has seemingly ignored over 20 million pro-net neutrality comments filed by his country’s own citizens, it hasn’t deterred StartPage.com CEO Robert Beens from weighing in.
“The Internet is a shared world marketplace and forum that calls for international cooperation and diplomacy,” said Beens. “The US should solicit input from all parties that could be affected. It’s simply the right thing to do, and we hope that Chairman Pai will give our concerns serious consideration.”
The group plans to deliver its letter to Pai in time for the September 26 FCC open meeting, which comes a day before a massive day of action on Capitol Hill.
If the US repeals net neutrality rules, signatories warn in the letter, it could harm or destroy global businesses and organizations by allowing US ISPs to decide what their US customers can see and do online while using their services, even discriminating against international traffic. ISPs would have the power to block sites and apps, and even force websites to pay expensive “prioritization” fees just to reach customers.
They have posted the letter here.