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When the legendary Babe Ruth stepped to the plate, crowds cheered and feared as they waited for his next home run. He hit 60 in 1927, a record that stood for 34 years.
About a century later, the world's biggest internet companies are stepping up to the plate on net neutrality. The Internet Association has filed to intervene in a lawsuit against the government's repeal of open-internet regulations.
Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other association members want to knock the government out of the park. Fans are cheering for them, but there is definitely tension in the air.
The Wind Up
The Federal Communications Commission started it in December, when the panel voted 3-2 to repeal protections against internet service providers throttling and blocking internet services. Chairman Ajit Pai led the team, saying ISP's should be allowed to manage web traffic and charge for faster internet connections.
Attorneys general from 22 states responded by suing to stop the FCC. The cases have been consolidated, and now the IA wants to join in.
Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, said it represents people everywhere. The members want to preserve net neutrality, he said.
"The internet industry will continue to fight for net neutrality protections that help consumers, foster innovation, and promote competition for the entire online ecosystem," he said.
It is a good move for the web giants, given the popularity of net neutrality among the everyday internet user. As time runs out, some see it as the last chance to save net neutrality.
Unless the court or Congress blocks the FCC orders, they will become effective in less than a month. In other words, it's like the final inning and it could be game-over for equal-access internet.
The Internet Association will take a swing at it, but even a home-run hitter strikes out -- especially in places like Mudville and where the law is not so certain.