An impressive list of early internet pioneers and technologists have issued an updated letter to Congress in which they urge a hard stop on Thursday’s Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality protections.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web; Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; Vint Cerf, another early internet leader; and others signed a letter Monday arguing that the upcoming decision from FCC chairman Ajit Pai is “based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of internet technology.”
Thursday’s vote is expected to peel back protections to keep the internet free and open. Internet service providers like Verizon and AT&T will get preferential treatment and can pay for faster access.
The inaccuracies about net neutrality were already spelled out in a previous letter signed by more than 200 internet engineers and technologists back in July. The group claims its submitted comment was ignored, as were comments from millions of others.
“Over 23 million comments have been submitted by a public that is clearly passionate about protecting the internet. The FCC could not possibly have considered these adequately,” the letter to Congress says.
With the addition of Wozniak, Berners-Lee, and more than a dozen other signatories on the letter, the group is hoping members of various House and Senate communication and technology subcommittees can push to cancel the vote.
Other senators have already tried to delay the vote over concerns about bots and fake public comments to the FCC.
The group of technologists warns that plans to “abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the internet we worked so hard to create. It should be stopped.”