Apple finally chimes in on net neutrality debate

PM ET More Net Neutrality Billboards Go Up FFTF targets Walden Rogers Latta

Tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have long expressed their support for the current net neutrality regulations, but Apple had stayed quiet. Apple has opposed loosening net neutrality restrictions, allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) unbound power to charge companies for speedier access to consumers.

In addition, Walsh claimed that weeding out the supposedly fraudulent comments would reveal "the large majority of commenters" support reversing net neutrality protections-the position held by AT&T and other major internet service providers.

The filing calls for "retain [ing] strong, enforceable open Internet protections" and argues that the FCC's current rules are effective at protecting consumers and online businesses. That regulatory maneuver allowed the FCC to impose rules in 2015 banning paid prioritization and blocking and throttling of content.

However, this time it has made an exception and filed comments with the FCC.

Late yesterday, a group of over 500 small businesses and trade associations from across the country signed an open letter raising concerns over the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality.

Now, the company has weighed in on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to remove the rules.

"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", wrote Hogan. "There is simply no reasonable justification for repealing the net neutrality protections now on the books". The agency is in the midst of a process to roll back the Obama-era rules, over complaints by broadband providers that the regulations are overly burdensome and keep them from upgrading America's high-speed Internet networks.

Playing up a track record in innovative devices that goes back to the Macintosh in 1984, Apple said that its ecosystem of devices, operating systems, apps and online stores requires "fair and open access to broadband services".

Pai has said the rules are bad for jobs and investment, and amount to "the government controlling the internet".

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