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Pressure on US regulators to block Internet 'fast lanes'

Published on May 9, 2014 5:46 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Pressure is building on US regulators to stop powerful firms from hogging Internet "fast lanes" that could be allowed under proposed rules that will be discussed next week.

More than 100 technology firms including titans Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter came out on Wednesday against Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggested rules of the road that seemingly run counter to the cherished ideal of "net neutrality." Internet service providers with virtual strangleholds on some US cities would be able to charge tolls for data to get priority in "fast lanes" under regulations recommended by FCC chief Tom Wheeler last month.

Such rules "would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them," Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other Internet firms said in a letter to the FCC.

"This represents a grave threat to the Internet."

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