Senators in the House of Representatives have urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to adopt any proposals relating to net neutrality, claiming that such moves could damage the fundamental core of the internet.
An open letter (PDF) to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski from four members of a sub-committee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, is in response to initiatives by Google and Verizon to create a framework on net neutrality.
"Rather than expansion on a proposal by two large communications companies with a vested financial interest in the outcome, formal FCC action is needed," said senators Edward Markey, Anna Eshoo, Jay Inslee and Mike Doyle.
"The public interest is served by a free and open internet that continues to be an indispensable platform for innovation, investment, entrepreneurship and free speech."
The letter added that any form of tiered traffic could unbalance the internet and undermine what has made it such a successful medium across the world.
"Paid prioritisation is contrary to the fundamental non-discrimination principles that have made the internet the most successful communications and commercial medium in history," the senators said.
"Such arrangements would favour certain content providers to the detriment of other content creators, degrading the traffic of providers unable or unwilling to pay."
The senators also argued that the National Broadband Plan must be pushed through as it represents a "monumental step towards increasing deployment and adoption, and unleashing the power of high-speed access".
"Without the proper authority to implement all facets of the Plan, we will not fulfil its promise or goals. Classification of broadband access services would provide the necessary certainty for broadband network operators, users and innovators alike," the letter said.
The senators insisted that wireless and wired networks should not be considered in isolation, going against a statement from AT&T yesterday, because this would confuse consumers and affect the nationwide deployment of broadband.
"An internet framework excluding wireless from important consumer safeguards could impede the attainment of national broadband goals, while lessening the potential for wireless platforms to reach un-served and underserved areas," they said.
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