Tech firms clash with internet providers

WASHINGTON – Tech companies clashed with internet service providers on Monday over whether a landmark 2015 net neutrality order barring the blocking or slowing of web content should be scrapped by the US Federal Communications Commission.

A group representing major technology firms including Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) urged the FCC to abandon plans to rescind the rules barring internet service providers from hindering consumer access to web content or offering paid “fast lanes.”

The Internet Association said in its filing with the FCC that dismantling the rules “will create significant uncertainty in the market and upset the careful balance that has led to the current virtuous circle of innovation in the broadband ecosystem.”

The rollback would harm consumers, added the group, which also represents Inc (AMZN.O), Microsoft Inc (MSFT.O), Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Snap Inc (SNAP.N).

Major internet service providers including AT&T Inc (T.N), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) urged the FCC, however, to reverse the rules enacted during former president Barack Obama’s administration, even as they vowed not to hinder internet access.

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) said the Obama order had “injected uncertainty into the marketplace, restricted innovation, and chilled investment.”

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