We at reddit support efforts to maintain a truly open Internet. We believe that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal threatens it. The proposal would change the Internet—even though the Internet is not broken. To quote the FCC’s 2005 Policy Statement, throughout the Internet’s history, access to the Internet has been granted “in a neutral manner.” ISPs did not block sites; they did not engage in “technical discrimination,” treating traffic from some sites or applications better than others based on the class of the application; and they did not offer “paid prioritization”—fast lanes for those willing to pay extra. Up until this year, the FCC guaranteed these aspects of neutrality in policy.
The Chairman’s proposal would change that. Though it would forbid blocking, it would permit technical discrimination and paid prioritization. It would also permit ISPs to negotiate exclusive deals with websites and appmakers in certain sectors, offering them and only them access to the fast lane, while relegating all of their competition to the slow lane. Finally, it has loopholes permitting access fees and discrimination through interconnection and mobile access.