Love Cyber Monday? Well, the fight for net neutrality may impact your Cyber Monday experience. More than 200 businesses and trade organizations have signed a letter that was sent to the FCC asking the agency to reconsider its plan for ending net neutrality. The letter has been signed by some of the biggest tech companies, such as Airbnb, Foursquare, GitHub, Reddit, Twitter, Interest, Sonos, Square, Shutterstock, Vimeo, and many others.
The letter was sent to the FCC on Cyber Monday and discusses the Internet’s growing role in growth for the US economy. “he internet is increasingly where commerce happens,” the letter says. The letter also cites some figures by saying that $3.5 billion in online sales on last year’s Cyber Monday and $3 billion on Black Friday. It also stated that for sales throughout all of last year, online purchases amounted to $400 billion in sales.
Companies pointed out that the current net neutrality rules allows business to be treated equally. “This economic growth is possible because of the free and open internet,” the letter says. Without these rules in place, online businesses may experience issues in their growth because of internet provider’s own interests. “An internet without net neutrality protections would be the opposite of the open market, with a few powerful cable and phone companies picking winners and losers instead of consumers.”
The letter states that if there’s no rules, it could force businesses into the slow lanes of the internet, thus hurting their growth. Businesses could also be blocked altogether, or even be forced to pay to have their business reach customers. “This would put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from even getting off the ground,” the letter says.
The FCC is planning to vote on December 14 to put an end to net neutrality once and for all. There’s a lot of opposition to this decision, which is being led by FCC chairman Ajit Pai. Even though there’s opposition, FCC commissioners are appointed to five year terms, so they won’t have to answer to voters any time soon. Of the five commissioners, three are Republicans and two are Democrats. This leads us to believe that the vote to end net neutrality is almost certain to pass.