Net Neutrality

At a Glance

eBay supports net neutrality and opposes efforts to replace the open Internet with “Pay to Play” private networks that would block, slow, or otherwise discriminate against content and service providers that do not pay new bandwidth tolls.

  • Proposals to fold bandwidth charges into the cost of online content and services would result in higher access costs and a non-transparent market.
  • Replacing the Internet with “private networks” would reduce the ability of Internet users to reach a global market.
  • Small business sellers would be hit hardest by new fees and tiered services.

Issue in Detail

eBay supports net neutrality and opposes undermining robust open Internet.

Point-of-View

  • eBay provides an Internet-enabled commerce marketplace empowering entrepreneurs and businesses, especially small businesses, across the globe. We take public policy positions that are important to that community of users.
  • eBay supports net neutrality and opposes efforts to replace the current open Internet with "Pay to Play" networks that would block, slow, or otherwise discriminate against content and service providers that do not pay new bandwidth tolls.
  • Consumers, non-profits, and businesses already pay for access to the Internet. Broadband providers should not be permitted to "double dip" by charging consumers twice for high-speed Internet access and services.

Background

The Internet has always been governed by a regulatory regime based on principles of openness and non-discrimination. This approach has been integral to making the Internet the home to the most innovative and exciting new businesses and ideas. Internet companies have spent billions on new content and services that have transformed the lives of people across the globe, as well as fueling significant economic growth and job creation.

  • Some cable and telecommunications companies that own broadband networks are proposing to replace the open Internet model with a new fee-based system where the large providers can pick and choose which websites will operate better on their new model networks. Under this new business model, special access charges will be levied on Internet content providers as well as consumers.
  • Content and services are what drive broadband Internet access adoption. Consumers who subscribe to broadband are able to use any Internet-based services they choose, including innovative new and start-up services. Replacing the open, non-discriminatory Internet with a two-tiered system that includes a higher-speed "toll road" will slow the advance of broadband, limit access to important information and tools, and damage the rate of innovation on the Internet.

Impact

Double-Charging Consumers- Consumers already pay for access to the Internet. Proposals to hide bandwidth charges into the cost of content and services that consumers access online will likely increase overall costs of Internet access. Double-charging will create an inefficient, non-transparent market for high-speed access.

Fragmenting the Market - The Internet is a global network based on the principle of openness, potentially connecting everyone with everyone, creating virtual communities on a scale never seen before. Replacing the Open Internet with technologically advanced but restricted "private networks" of any form will undermine the Internet as we know it and reduce the ability of Internet users to reach a global market. Small business sellers rely on that global community and could be hardest hit by new fees and tiered services that impede existing and potential customers from accessing their sites.

Please Take Action!

We urge you to support regulatory proposals and legislation to protect the Open Internet and ensure that consumers are:

  • free to use the Internet as they have traditionally done
  • not subject to discrimination by network operators pushing affiliated content and services
  • not required to pay twice for bandwidth (directly or indirectly through hidden bandwidth fees