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'father of the Internet'
The American Spark
Internet Inventors Tell FCC To Save Net Neutrality
By Cliff Montgomery - Dec. 13th, 2017
Tomorrow, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning a vote which may spell the
end of net neutrality - a federal law which ensures that an access to Internet content remains relatively
inexpensive and equal for all law-abiding individuals.
Or, as technology news service Engadget recently explained: “Net neutrality is the idea that, as its name
implies, the Internet and the companies that provide it should be neutral.
“Its speed or reliability should not be affected because of what you’re downloading or whether your service
provider likes it,” adds the news source.
An end to net neutrality would have an incalculable effect, on everything from a modern person’s ability to
access the information of their choice to the future of tech-based economic growth.
The conservatives who currently run the Executive Branch love to lecture everyone on how necessary it is to
consider the statements of business titans on all matters, great and small.
That’s why it’s important to point out that Internet leaders and pioneers such as inventor of the World Wide
Web Tim Berners-Lee and “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf have submitted a strong verdict on the FCC’s
planned vote to end net neutrality, flatly telling the commission members that they “don’t understand how the
Other signatories to the declaration include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Internet Archive founder
Brewster Kahle and Mozilla Foundation Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker.
“It is important to understand that the FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate
understanding of Internet technology,” declares the statement, which is addressed to lawmakers who oversee
The statement points out that an earlier, detailed joint comment “signed by over 200 of the most prominent
Internet pioneers and engineers” was “submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017,” and revealed a number of
“flaws and inaccuracies” in the FCC proposal.
Those mistakes included a seeming inability of FCC officials to understand the differences between Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) and edge providers (companies which provide content, like Netflix). The earlier joint
comment also pointed out that FCC officials seem not to understand how firewalls work, describing their
apparent ignorance on this matter as “a stunning lack of technical knowledge.”
“Despite this [July] comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the
proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained,” declares the new statement.
“The proposed Order removes long-standing FCC oversight over Internet access providers without an
adequate replacement to protect consumers, free markets and online innovation,” added the Internet leaders.
Without net neutrality, corporations like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T may - at whim and will - begin perform-
ing such deeds as blocking “content, websites and applications, slowing or speeding up services or classes
of service, and charging online services for access or fast lanes to Internet access providers’ customers.”
The experts’ final verdict was forceful and clear.
“The FCC’s rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any
replacement,” stated the declaration, “is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create. It
should be stopped.”
The full declaration from Internet industry leaders may be found here.
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