Tech Companies Rally Against Web Fast Lanes

The Internet wasn't slowing down, but a special version of that dreaded "spinning wheel of death" popped up on numerous online sites Wednesday as pages were being loaded.

The loading symbol on Netflix, Reddit, Kickstarter, Etsy and dozens of other sites urged users to protest possible new federal rules that would allow faster, more reliable streaming speeds for companies willing and able to pay extra.

Critics argue that such rules would severely crimp or kill the long-time principle of network neutrality, which calls on Internet service providers, or ISPs, to treat all legal content online equally.

On what was dubbed Internet Slowdown Day, the online firms urged users to contact lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering the proposed rule changes.

Firms such as Netflix rely on speedy connections to ensure subscribers can binge-watch shows without interruption.

Revamped rules, critics said, could lead to higher prices for consumers, endanger free speech and leave smaller companies -- unwilling or unable to pay extra -- in the digital dust of what could become an Internet slow lane.

Supporters created the Internet Slowdown Day to raise awareness about the issue.

On the Netflix Inc. home page, for instance, a blinking red "loading" symbol appears next to the message: "If there were Internet slow lanes, you'd still be waiting."

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter Inc. put a similar message on its home page and changed its Twitter avatar to a loading symbol too.

"Big ISPs want the power to slow (and break!) sites like ours," read the website for Internet Slowdown Day. It urged users to sign a letter asking the FCC to "ensure the Internet does not become the bastion of powerful incumbents and carriers."

Netflix is no stranger to battles over bandwidth.

Earlier this year, the streaming video service began displaying messages blaming buffer delays on customers' Verizon network connections. It stopped the...

Comments are closed.

Tech Companies Rally Against Web Fast Lanes

The Internet wasn't slowing down, but a special version of that dreaded "spinning wheel of death" popped up on numerous online sites Wednesday as pages were being loaded.

The loading symbol on Netflix, Reddit, Kickstarter, Etsy and dozens of other sites urged users to protest possible new federal rules that would allow faster, more reliable streaming speeds for companies willing and able to pay extra.

Critics argue that such rules would severely crimp or kill the long-time principle of network neutrality, which calls on Internet service providers, or ISPs, to treat all legal content online equally.

On what was dubbed Internet Slowdown Day, the online firms urged users to contact lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering the proposed rule changes.

Firms such as Netflix rely on speedy connections to ensure subscribers can binge-watch shows without interruption.

Revamped rules, critics said, could lead to higher prices for consumers, endanger free speech and leave smaller companies -- unwilling or unable to pay extra -- in the digital dust of what could become an Internet slow lane.

Supporters created the Internet Slowdown Day to raise awareness about the issue.

On the Netflix Inc. home page, for instance, a blinking red "loading" symbol appears next to the message: "If there were Internet slow lanes, you'd still be waiting."

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter Inc. put a similar message on its home page and changed its Twitter avatar to a loading symbol too.

"Big ISPs want the power to slow (and break!) sites like ours," read the website for Internet Slowdown Day. It urged users to sign a letter asking the FCC to "ensure the Internet does not become the bastion of powerful incumbents and carriers."

Netflix is no stranger to battles over bandwidth.

Earlier this year, the streaming video service began displaying messages blaming buffer delays on customers' Verizon network connections. It stopped the...

Comments are closed.