Microsoft, Google Back Strong Net Neutrality; AT&T and Verizon, Not so Much


Microsoft and Google pleaded with U.S. regulators on Monday to preserve strong net neutrality rules, while AT&T and Verizon Communications backed weakened oversight and said Congress should settle the issue that’s burned for more than a decade.

The tech pillars and the broadband providers are trying to sway the Federal Communications Commission, which is moving toward gutting rules against interfering with web traffic. Monday was a deadline for comments on the FCC proposal advanced by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” which already has attracted more than 8 million comments.

The rules passed by an Obama-era, Democratic-led FCC bar broadband providers from blocking or slowing data — to hinder rivals, for instance, or to favor affiliated services — and from setting up “fast lanes” that would cost more. Under Pai’s proposal announced in April, the FCC would end its claim to strong legal authority to enforce the rules, and the chairman asked whether the FCC should retain the ban on paid fast lanes.

Microsoft and Google pleaded with U.S. regulators on Monday to preserve strong net neutrality rules, while AT&T and Verizon Communications backed weakened oversight and said Congress should settle the issue that’s burned for more than a decade.

The tech pillars and the broadband providers are trying to sway the Federal Communications Commission, which is moving toward gutting rules against interfering with web traffic. Monday was a deadline for comments on the FCC proposal advanced by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” which already has attracted more than 8 million comments.

The rules passed by an Obama-era, Democratic-led FCC bar broadband providers from blocking or slowing data — to hinder rivals, for instance, or to favor affiliated services — and from setting up “fast lanes” that would cost more. Under Pai’s proposal announced in April, the FCC would end its claim to strong legal authority to enforce the rules, and the chairman asked whether the FCC should retain the ban on paid fast lanes.

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