Mozilla Calls For Reclassifying Internet Services To Enforce Net Neutrality

Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox web browser, have come out in their blog to formally urge the FCC to push network providers into common carrier status. This would give the FCC the authority to enforce the net neutrality rules that were struck down earlier this year. As common carriers, the telecom companies would not be allowed to create a multi-tiered internet where providers would have to be paid for by services in order to get optimal speeds to their customers.

A number of groups have argued that the network companies are already being paid by their customers, and hosts are already paying connectivity, so net neutrality is important because of the highly noncompetitive environment in the US. If the US was saturated with many internet companies and customers had extensive choices, they could simply switch to a company that wasn't throttling Netflix. Because customers often only have one real choice for internet service, they are stuck with whatever that provider decides to do with their network.

Many internet companies have halfheartedly declared their support for net neutrality, but have not gone as far as declaring they support the most direct path to enforceable rules. This change would fall under the FCC's authority and give them the legal grounds to enforce the rules. It would effectively make the moves by Verizon and Comcast (to intentionally degrade services like Netflix to make them less competitive) illegal.

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