If adopted, those rules would allow phone and Internet service providers to give preferential treatment to Internet companies, like Netflix and Skype, which would potentially give them an advantage over startups that can't afford such "paid prioritization."
Advocates of net neutrality say this runs counter to the idea of "open Internet," in which all data is treated the same. In Wednesday's letter, the tech companies called paid fast lanes "a threat to the Internet."
"Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination," the letter states, "the Commission's rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent. The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low."
In addition to Wednesday's letter, FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel also spoke out against the plan, which has been spearheaded by Wheeler, saying she had "real concerns" about implementing commercial fast lanes. The official proposal will be made public on May 15. (TIME)