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Video delivery giant Netflix is steadfastly opposed to the reported proposed rule Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler will present to the FCC on May 15. Unlike the rest of us who are opposed to it as well, Netflix has the power to get a meeting with those regulators to press their concerns.
(Reuters) - After weeks of public outcry, Netflix Inc brought its concerns about Internet neutrality directly to U.S. regulators this week in meetings with Federal Communications Commission staff, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The video streaming company has been outspoken in its push to do away with fees that content companies pay Internet service providers to deliver their video and other data to consumers. […]

Netflix's representatives brought that message to the FCC commissioners' offices in meeting with advisers over the course of several days this week, the sources said, as the agency prepares to rewrite so-called Open Internet rules that regulate net neutrality by setting limits to how Internet providers treat web traffic crossing their networks.

Netflix knows about this, having been subjected to what could be called extortion by Comcast last fall for its content delivery. Netflix users on Comcast were seeing slower and degraded video delivery because Comcast was more or less restricting the bandwidth available to each Netflix subscriber. Comcast made what's seen by experts as an unprecedented demand that Netflix pay to have Comcast basically unclog its highways that were carrying Netflix content. And Netflix ended up paying Comcast for a direct connection between their networks.

There's absolutely no question that Internet service providers will happily take the power to sell fast-lane delivery to the highest bidder Wheeler is proposing. There's no reason to believe that they won't use that power—just like Comcast did with Netflix—to slow down networks to try to force content providers to pay up.

And those who can pay, will. But the rest of us—businesspeople like Markos, nonprofits, libraries—will be left behind. Unless we stop the FCC from accepting this proposed rule. Help us stop the FCC from crushing net neutrality. Please sign our petition.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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