Tech companies still in the fight for net neutrality

Net neutrality isn't gone, yet.

The internet isn’t letting net neutrality disappear without a fight. 

Several big tech companies, including Etsy, Expa, Kickstarter, Automattic, Foursquare, and Shutterstock, filed a petition on Monday with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to end net neutrality. 

The latest companies are assembling under a new banner: the Coalition for Internet Openness. Their effort follows other actions by various tech lobbying groups. Back in January, the Internet Association, which represents Amazon, Google, and Facebook, joined an existing lawsuit against the FCC.

Now, more tech companies are putting on the pressure. The FCC voted to eliminate net neutrality in December, which allows for internet providers to charge companies and consumers different rates for faster internet access. 

For example, Netflix could have to pay broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon for better access to compete with, say, Hulu. That type of deal frightens tech companies, from tech giants to little startups, since it can jeopardize innovation. And exactly that kind of scenario happened before net neutrality rules were implemented in 2015.

“The fight for net neutrality is the fight for civil liberties, and a more vibrant culture. Without it, the free and equal exchange of ideas is at risk,” Candace Martin, commercial counsel for Kickstarter, said in an emailed statement about the company’s lawsuit. 

“We believe that everyone has the right to access information on places, spaces and people, and that business leaders and brands need to be able to interpret trends and patterns as they truly exist,” Marc Ellenbogen, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Foursquare, said in an emailed statement. 

Along with tech companies, individual states aren’t giving up the fight to preserve net neutrality. States, like Montana, are requiring internet service providers with state contracts to follow net neutrality principles despite federal regulations being eliminated. Some service providers also have pledged to uphold net neutrality. 

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