Safeguarding the Internet for All: the Importance of Net Neutrality

By: eBay Inc. Staff

eBay Inc. believes the principle we call net neutrality is worthy of the strongest protections. The Internet has become such an important tool for communications, commerce, education and leisure, and has the power to accelerate inclusion in the digital world for people across the globe.

We share the concerns that many have regarding broadband service providers developing business models that create slow lanes and fast lanes on the Internet. In the absence of clear rules prohibiting discrimination and other forms of paid fast lane, we are worried about the consequences for consumers, startups and innovation.

In the U.S., an incredible number of people have already told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they agree. When the FCC asked people for their comments earlier this year, more people responded than for any other policy matter. If you haven’t already done so, please consider adding your voice.  You can do that here: http://www.fcc.gov/page/fcc-establishes-new-inbox-open-internet-comments

eBay Inc. likewise filed its comments in support of net neutrality. And we’re not alone. The Internet Association is a strong advocate. Others are celebrating the principle on September 10, with a call to action that will surely help to strengthen the public’s views even further. We urge everyone to keep calling on the FCC to send a strong signal to governments, legislators and regulators around the world. The principle of net neutrality is critical for the Internet of today and for the future.

Making sure EVERYONE can access what he or she chooses on the Internet, however they wish, is something we shouldn’t take for granted.

At eBay Inc., we continue to remind the FCC how important it is to make sure there are no barriers to entry to the digital world. If the companies providing Internet access made it more difficult to get to services like eBay and PayPal, or the numerous other commerce platforms – just like Etsy – that have arisen, it would have a negative impact on the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that rely on them as a means to reach existing and new customers across the globe.

And because we have to ensure the Internet remains a vibrant platform for consumer choice, economic growth and social inclusiveness, any rules to safeguard net neutrality must not distinguish among the technologies used by consumers to access the Internet. In particular, the rules must apply to both wired and wireless networks. Many new Internet users in the U.S., and the majority of people who will start using the Internet in emerging markets around the world, will access the Internet from a mobile device. Therefore, it is fundamentally important that the principle of net neutrality be applied to fixed and mobile Internet access. There is only one Internet, and any rules should recognize that.  

One of the revolutionary aspects of the open Internet is the power it gives individuals to express their views on issues that are important to them.  If you believe that the current open model of the Internet, without fast lanes and slow lanes based on business deals by broadband providers, is important, now is a great time to get involved.  You can add your voice to the debate here: http://www.fcc.gov/page/fcc-establishes-new-inbox-open-internet-comments

Thank you for joining us on this important issue!

Richard Nash

Head of Government Relations for the Americas, eBay Inc.