Apple has officially broken its silence on the net neutrality debate. In with a new comment, Apple has asked the FCC (via Recode) to “retain strong, enforceable open internet protections” that advance consumer choice, no paid fast lanes, transparency, competition, and investment and innovation.
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Today, macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS connect our users with ideas and information from around the world, and services like Apple Music, iTunes, iCloud, and our App Stores make it easy for them to find online music, TV, movies, and apps they love. Those connections and services depend on fair and open access to broadband services.
In the full comment, Apple specifically says broadband providers should not be allowed to throttle or block a “lawful website” or create paid fast lanes for services.
Paid fast lanes could replace today’s content-neutral transmission of internet traffic with differential treatment of content based on an online providers’ ability or willingness to pay. The result would be an internet with distorted competition where online providers are driven to reach deals with broadband providers or risk being stuck in the slow lane and losing customers due to lower quality service.
Apple also writes that broadband providers should openly disclose network performance and traffic management to ensure consumers are getting what they pay for. The comment summarizes that the current FCC rules in place should remain and be used when addressing net neutrality in the future, not changed to create fast lanes.
Apple remains open to alternative sources of legal authority, but only if they provide for strong, enforceable, and legally sustainable protections, like those in place today. Simply put, the internet is too important to consumers and too essential to innovation to be left unprotected and uncertain.