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Netflix Backtracks, Now Back In The Fight To Save Net Neutrality

15 June 2017, 9:43 pm EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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Netflix was thought to have given up on the fight to save net neutrality, as CEO Reed Hastings said that winning the battle is impossible under a Trump presidency. The streaming service has now backtracked and returned to the fray.  ( Ethan Miller | Getty Images )

Netflix is once again joining the fight to save net neutrality, backtracking on the statement recently made by CEO Reed Hastings that pulled the streaming service out of the fray.

As a sign of its renewed commitment, Netflix will participate in an upcoming event to protest the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to scrap the net neutrality regulations put in place by the previous administration.

Netflix Dropped Out Of Net Neutrality Fight

Last month, the FCC voted to move forward with the proposal of President Donald Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai to reverse the net neutrality guidelines implemented under former President Barack Obama's 2015 Open Internet Order.

Under the concept of net neutrality, internet service providers are required to treat all internet traffic equally. For example, Comcast will not be allowed to limit traffic from Netflix to urge its internet subscribers to also buy a cable package from the company.

Earlier in June, however, it appeared that Netflix gave up on the fight to save net neutrality, with Hastings claiming that such a battle is impossible to win under a Trump presidency.

"It's not narrowly important to us because we're big enough to get the deals we want," Hastings added, revealing that the company thinks it can survive even once net neutrality regulations are reversed. Netflix, with the growth that it has experienced, is no longer as vulnerable to Pai's plans as it was in the past.

Hastings used to be a staunch advocate of net neutrality, but he apparently was content with passing the proverbial torch in pushing for the cause to smaller companies that would be affected the most by the FCC's upcoming moves.

Netflix Resumes The Fight To Save Net Neutrality

Netflix has now backtracked on its stance of dropping its fight for net neutrality, as the company will join the "Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality" on July 12.

"Netflix will never outgrow the fight for #NetNeutrality. Everyone deserves an open Internet," the company said in a tweet that linked to the website for the planned day of protest.

A Netflix spokesperson clarified that, while Hastings was correct in saying that the repeal of net neutrality laws will not significantly impact the company's services, it acknowledges that it will not be in its current position without an open internet.

"There are other companies for whom this is a bigger issue, and we support strong net neutrality protections to ensure the next Netflix has a fair shot to go the distance," the spokesperson added.

Netflix will now be joining major internet companies such as Amazon, Reddit, Etsy, and Mozilla in the planned July 12 protest, in a sign of support for net neutrality and the benefits that it provides to consumers and firms alike.

The growth of Netflix has placed it on the same footing as major media companies such as HBO and YouTube, as it possesses the leverage to negotiate for deals with content providers. In fact, it may benefit from the repeal of net neutrality regulations, as that would make it harder for smaller companies to challenge Netflix.

The company, however, looks like it will be placing the welfare of consumers and the streaming content industry before it as it rejoins the fight to save net neutrality.

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