Apple has released a statement on net neutrality, and it’s worth reading.
People get emotional about this topic. The future of the internet—and by extension the future of information, business, and just about everything else—is at stake, as the Federal Communications Commission works toward eliminating the rules that make sure internet providers can’t manipulate what you see or how you see it.
With all the vitriol, net neutrality can seem like just another partisan topic. It’s not—and Apple’s head of public policy in the U.S., Cynthia Hogan, laid it all out very simply in a letter sent to the FCC.
“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,” she wrote.
Seems pretty reasonable.
Hogan continued by explaining why it is important to prevent internet providers from charging for fast lanes.
“The result would be an internet with distorted competition where online providers are driven to reach deals with broadband providers or risk being stuck in the slow lane and losing customers due to lower quality service,” she wrote.
Competition is at the core of the net neutrality debate. Thus far, the internet has been an even playing field. If someone tomorrow comes up with the next great idea, nothing stands in its way on the internet. This is how companies like Google started in a garage and then become global behemoths in just a few years. It’s how Facebook went from a dorm project to a 2 billion global users.
Making the internet into a hierarchy would prevent this kind of possibility.
“Moreover, it could create artificial barriers to entry for new online services, making it harder for tomorrow’s innovations to attract investment and succeed,” Hogan wrote. “Worst of all, it could allow a broadband provider, not the consumer, to pick internet winners and losers, based on a broadband provider’s priorities rather than the quality of the service.”
Apple is one of hundreds of companies that have voiced support for the existing net neutrality rules, which were put in place by the Obama administration’s FCC.
Hogan’s whole letter is here and worth a read: