Vint Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Wozniak are amongst those calling for this week’s vote to be called off amidst a ‘lack of transparency’

Twenty-one figures who contributed to the early internet have asked the US Senate to block a planned vote this week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would repeal “network neutrality” regulations.

The signatories of the open letter, who include Vint Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Wozniak, said the FCC’s planned vote on Thursday would remove long-standing oversight over internet access providers “without an adequate replacement to protect consumers, free markets and online innovation”.

The FCC’s low-regulation approach is “based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of internet technology”, the letter states.

The signatories argued the consultation ahead of the proposed changes suffered from a lack of transparency, with millions of comments from the public seemingly ignored and the FCC’s comment system disrupted by botnets and an unexplained outage.

“Breaking with established practice, the FCC has not held a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order,” the letter states.

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