Twitter Voices Support For Net Neutrality

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Twitter says net neutrality legislation essential for US economy and for freedom of speech

Twitter says it supports the US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposals to enforce net neutrality, arguing that such principles need to be enshrined in law to protect freedom of speech and allow innovative tech companies to thrive.

Net Neutrality is the idea that all Internet traffic is treated equally by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but the issue of an open Internet is a contentious one.

Carriers want to be able to charge content providers, such as Netflix, additional fees to ensure their customers continue to receive a good service, but opponents say this will create a two-tier system and conflict with the principles of an Open Internet.

Twitter net neutrality

secured twitterNetflix has been one of the most vocal supporters of Net Neutrality, but Twitter is now making its voice heard, claiming without Net Neutrality, many of the most famous names in tech might never have come into existence – possibly including itself.

It says Net Neutrality legislation is essential for US economic aspirations and for the freedom of expression. It wants “clear, enforceable and legally sustainable rules” to be implemented by the FCC.

“Under net neutrality principles, consumers decide which lawful content, applications, and services they want to create, access or share with others,” said Will Carty, manager of public policy at Twitter. “Currently, the Internet provides an almost frictionless experience for an individual to communicate with the world, and it also provides the lowest barrier to competitive entry for businesses the world has ever seen. It serves as a great equalizer in the access to information and in reaching a global audience. If you have an opinion or a new innovative web-based service, you don’t have to get permission to share it with the world at large.

“We strongly support ensuring that such rules include prohibitions against blocking or throttling of sites and services as well as the paid prioritization of some traffic over others. These rules should govern Internet service whether users are at their desk at home or on their smartphone across town.

“Twitter and its millions of users are counting on Washington to reaffirm net neutrality rules for their obvious and myriad benefits to the Internet ecosystem, to the economy, and to freedom of expression. For all these reasons, we strongly support the FCC taking action.”

Huawei is a noted opponent of Net Neutrality, arguing that it stifles the development of web services. It says carriers want to be able to offer diversified levels of service and that broadband shouldn’t be treated any differently to postal services where express delivery companies like FedEx are allowed to compete with universal service providers like Royal Mail.

 Do you know all about IT and the law? Take our quiz.