Netflix, Tech Firms Protest FCC Net-Neutrality Proposal

Technology companies whose sites are among the most popular on the Internet are symbolically “slowing” traffic on the Web today to protect equal transmission speeds.

Netflix Inc., Reddit Inc., Yahoo Inc.’s Tumblr and Vimeo LLC are among the companies that have added spinning icons to their websites today to demonstrate support for stronger rules protecting so-called net neutrality, according to an e-mailed statement today from the Free Press Action Fund, a group that represents interests of Internet users.

The event is meant to draw attention to a proposal by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that would weaken protections that ensure Internet service providers can’t favor one form of content over another. It comes amid consolidation in the cable industry that has crystallized concerns over access to users by independent content creators.

“The FCC proposal would allow broadband providers to charge online companies like Vimeo to deliver traffic,” the video-streaming company said in a blog post today. “We think this will create a two-tiered Internet.”

Free Press describes itself as a nonpartisan organization fighting for people’s rights to connect and communicate. The group and participating companies are asking users to sign a letter addressed to lawmakers.

(Corrects description of group in second paragraph of story published yesterday.)
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