Net Neutrality Update

September 15, 2017

Earlier this year, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to reverse existing net neutrality protections established by his predecessor. The concept of “net neutrality” generally refers to treating all Internet traffic equally. It is designed to prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing, or otherwise discriminating against user access to web or app content. Reversing net neutrality protections will have far-reaching ramifications.

eBay has long been supportive of net neutrality and opposes undermining a robust and open Internet. We are concerned that by reversing these protections, the FCC will shift control over access away from the consumer and towards a handful of large ISPs who might be incentivized to cut deals that will steer Internet traffic to preferred websites and apps. Internet-enabled small businesses would be among those hit hardest. Weaker net neutrality protections would discourage competition by tilting the playing field in favor of large enterprises that have the resources to outspend their smaller competitors.

In July, eBay asked the Main Street community to participate in the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, which was a coordinated grassroots effort to file public comments in opposition to the FCC’s plan to reverse the existing protections. The Day of Action included companies, trade associations, and public interest groups.

The net neutrality comment period is now over, and it has been reported that the FCC received nearly 22 million comments, a vast majority of which were opposed to the FCC’s plan. By law, the FCC is required to review these comments as it considers its plans to reverse the rules. As always, we will keep you up-to-date on important developments in the fight to keep the Internet open and fair to all.