Thursday, August 31, 2017

Apple breaks silence on Net Neutrality in support letter to FCC →

Yesterday was the last day to provide comment to the FCC on their proposal to gut Net Neutrality rules implemented in 2015. As a result, Apple finally broke their silence on this subject with an official letter to the FCC. In it, Apple comments on consumer choice, fast lanes, transparency, competition, investment and innovation, and more in support of Net Neutrality. It’s a great, short read, but to the point.

Here’s my Net Neutrality And You post if you need a refresher on the subject. Now for a few excerpts from Apple’s letter…

On consumer choice:

Consumers must be allowed to access the lawful internet content, applications, and services of their choice, using non-harmful devices of their choice (subject, of course, to reasonable network management). Broadband providers should not block, throttle, or otherwise discriminate against lawful websites and services.

On the prospect of paid fast lanes:

Paid fast lanes could replace today’s content-neutral transmission of internet traffic with differential treatment of content based on an online providers’ ability or willingness to pay. 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.

On competition:

Competition for last-mile broadband connections is crucial to protecting an open internet. Based on the FCC’s latest data, 57 percent of Americans with access to fixed broadband at or above 25Mbps/3Mbps—the current FCC benchmark for advanced broadband service—have only one choice of broadband provider.3 This means that many consumers cannot switch providers even if they learn that their broadband provider interferes with the internet’s openness in a way that they oppose.

This in particular is laughably pathetic. America is so far behind in terms of home Internet speeds it’s embarrassing.

I’m glad to see this official response from Apple, even if it doesn’t explicitly call for ISPs to remain classified as Title II utilities. On the other hand, I don’t know why it took them so damn long to comment.