Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other technology companies appear to have stepped back from a net neutrality fight to ensure Internet providers treat all Web traffic equally, leaving startups to battle proposed legislation.
Federal Communications Commission records show Google and Facebook lobbyists have not visited the agency once to intervene following its May proposal to allow Internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to charge companies more to use a “fast lane” through their lines, Bloomberg reports.
Google was once outspoken on the issue, running ads calling for the government to treat all Web traffic equally, urging users to get in touch with lawmakers on the issue and sending co-founder Sergey Brin to lobby officials in Washington, D.C.
The tech companies’ silence means less help for startups, which are more heavily affected by the proposal because they don’t have the deep pockets to pay for fast-lane access.
Google, Facebook, eBay Inc. and Yahoo Inc. have not completely disappeared, though. Many have joined the D.C.-based Internet Association, which encourages the FCC to enact more open Internet rules. Google and some 140 tech companies said in a May 7 letter that the FCC’s proposal would be “a grave threat to the Internet,” and Google executives met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in June to discuss the company’s high-speed Google Fiber network.
The commission will take comments on the proposal through July 15 and again in September, and it is slated for a final vote later this year.
Let’s KEEP IT AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD!!
Silicon Valley Business Journal