The major cell-phone carriers have a new ally in their fight against stricter net-neutrality regulations: General Motors.
The car company sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month urging the agency not to impose tough rules on wireless Internet service. Treating wireless Internet the same as a home connection would stifle innovative new technologies, General Motors wrote.
"From our point of view, mobile broadband being delivered to a car moving 75 mph down a highway—or for that matter, stuck in a massive spontaneous traffic jam—is a fundamentally different phenomenon from a wired broadband connection to a consumer's home," wrote Harry Lightsey, the executive director of GM's Global Connected Consumer unit.
He said that car companies are increasingly relying on wireless networks to provide new technologies to their customers. High-speed cellular connections allow people to stream Internet radio and video in their cars, and some cars even have built-in Wi-Fi hotspots.
Companies are also starting to experiment with technologies that would allow cars to talk to each other to avoid collisions and monitor traffic patterns. Those technologies all rely on some form of wireless connection.