Apple has finally broken its silence on the argument for net neutrality today by sending the FCC its comments on whether carriers and internet service providers should be able to provide fast lanes for companies that pay extra.
As a company that sells content through its online stores and services, Apple warned the Trump administration to not roll back protections. The company didn’t take a stance on whether the FCC should be able to protect the Internet like a utility, but it urged FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to keep the current rules in place.
“Broadband providers should not block, throttle, or otherwise discriminate against lawful websites and services,” Apple said in comments obtained by Recode. “Far from new, this has been a foundational principle of the FCC’s approach to net neutrality for over a decade. Providers of online goods and services need assurance that they will be able to reliably reach their customers without interference from the underlying broadband provider.”
Chairman Pai has threatened to undo the Obama administration’s work which classified ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The move essentially made ISPs the same as water and electric companies. Trumps administration wants that to change so ISPs can make more money charging for faster services.
AT&T, Verizon, and other telcos are in favor of the Trump administration’s plan because it would bring in more profits for them. But Apple and most of the country’s largest tech companies have come out saying that would be a bad move for consumers and content companies alike.
“Lifting the current ban on paid prioritization arrangements could allow broadband providers to favor the transmission of one provider’s content or services (or the broadband provider’s own online content or services) over other online content, fundamentally altering the internet as we know it today — to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation,” Apple explained.