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Frontier Communications is asking employees for help in its fight against state net neutrality rules in California, claiming that the rules will give “free” Internet to major Web companies while raising costs for consumers.
The Internet service provider urged employees to submit a form letter asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto the net neutrality bill that was recently . Frontier sent an to employees and set up an for them to send the form letter to Brown.
“I am proud to work at Frontier and help operate a network that is part of an incredibly successful Internet ecosystem that is the backbone of our economy and daily life,” the form letter says. But net neutrality rules “will harm consumers and impose complex layers of costly regulation,” and therefore “deter investment and delay broadband deployment in California, especially in rural areas that still lack high-speed Internet access,” the letter says.
The letter claims that net neutrality rules “will create significant new costs for consumers” but did not make it clear what those new costs would be.
Moreover, the bill would “essentially create ‘free‘ Internet for big users of bandwidth like Netflix and Google,” the letter says. This statement is apparently in reference to the California bill‘s requirement that ISPs may not evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at . But the bill doesn‘t actually require ISPs to provide free interconnection to companies like Netflix and Google, which already pay for direct connections to ISP networks.
The federal net neutrality rules had similar provisions for interconnection without disrupting those interconnection agreements. The California rules could help content providers get better deals on interconnection from ISPs, but it would be surprising if the rules forced ISPs to stop charging for interconnection entirely.
Bill bans blocking, throttling, and more
The bill would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful Internet traffic and from requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. The bill would also ban paid data cap exemptions (aka “zero-rating”), but it would allow other forms of zero-rating.
The Frontier form letter claims that the company “supports an open Internet where providers do not block, throttle, or interfere with customers‘ ability to access and navigate the Internet” but says nothing about paid prioritization or zero-rating.
The bill was last month by the California Assembly and Senate, despite repeated objections from . Prior to the final Senate vote, robocalls to senior citizens (with no evidence) that the rules will raise cell phone bills by $30 per month and slow down their data.
If Brown signs the bill, California is to face a lawsuit from broadband providers, who would claim that the FCC‘s net neutrality repeal states from imposing their own rules.