Recently net neutrality supporters, backed by President Barack Obama, came out in favor of reclassifying broadband internet as a public utility under the Telecommunications Act. Cable and wireless companies have been avid in their opposition to this solution, but other industries have been rather silent on the issue. Now, tech companies including Qualcomm, SNC, IBM and Intel have spoken against the measure.
A joint letter was sent to Congress this week, signed by 60 influential brands in the tech world. It stated that they were all opposed to the idea of creating a Tier II classification for internet service, claiming it would impede the growth of the web’s economy, and stop companies from investing in broadband.
In the letter, they praise government agencies for what they call a bipartisan protection of an internet dedicated to fair trading and opportunities. They say it has given “America a symbiotic Internet economy that’s the envy of the world”. But they fear that a Tier II classification would stunt the growth by limiting investments from those in the broadband market.
The investment shortfall would then flow downstream, landing first and squarely on technology companies like ours, and then working its way through the economy overall. Just a few years removed from the worst recession in memory, that’s a risk no policymaker should accept, let alone promote.
This creates a clear divide between new internet companies, and old ones. Netflix is one of the most focused supporters of net neutrality, and they have been vocal in their promotion of Tier II. Likewise, Kickstarter, Twitter, PayPal, Amazon, and a number of others have also joined forces on the issue.
But this statement from older stalwarts, most involved in the hardware development side of consumer technology, draws a line in the sand that shows how far removed such organizations have become. Younger online companies seem to fall to the side of an open internet, while older companies want less regulation to give markets more power.
It is an amusing representation of the political spectrum, if you think about it.
Speaking of politics, this is inevitably going to become a partisan problem from this point on. The industry has chosen their sides, split down the middle. The president and a force of supports have moved over, with dissidents on the other. The Republicans have retaken Congress, and a fair number might block the measure and lend their support to the companies in opposition.
Source: Tia Online