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Crowd funded Neutrality ads pressure FCC

May 14, 2014

Crowd funded ads putting pressure on the FCC as it proposes new net neutrality rules have appeared in Washington DC. The campaign was organised by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

It urges people to phone the FCC and oppose it allowing telecom firms to charge for prioritised data delivery. The FCC five-member board will decide whether to proceed with drafted guidelines on May 15th.

Gigi Sohn, the FCC’s counsel, tweeted that the document “asks if paid prioritization should be banned outright & seeks comment on best ways 2 protect innovators”. She added that the public would be given 60 days to comment on the proposals, and a further 60 to reply to others’ posts before the FCC made a final decision.

But critics fear that the “open Internet” proposals will fail to prevent the broadband firms charging content providers for a premium data transmission option.

The adverts have been placed at 30 bus stops in the US capital after a fundraising effort on Crowdtilt’s website raised more than $21,000.

The FCC denies it is deliberately trying to destroy the principle of net neutrality but argues that it needs to clarify regulations after a court ruling earlier this year. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with telecoms firm Verizon in January after the firm challenged the FCC’s previous instruction that broadband providers must treat all traffic equally.

Since then both Verizon and Comcast have begun charging Netflix for direct access to their networks to ensure that its TV shows and movies are delivered at high speeds to avoid the problem of buffering.

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