Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, and incubators are signing onto a letter urging Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to undermine the FCC’s net neutrality rules.
The letter affirms the need for net neutrality rules to protect entrepreneurs and innovators, and responds to recent reports that Pai plans to roll back the Commission’s net neutrality rules, replacing them with empty promises from broadband providers:
Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose new fees on us, inhibiting consumer choice. Those actions directly impede an entrepreneur’s ability to “start a business, immediately reach a worldwide customer base, and disrupt an entire industry.” Our companies should be able to compete with incumbents on the quality of our products and services, not our capacity to pay tolls to Internet access providers.
Fortunately, in 2015 the Federal Communications Commission put in place light touch net neutrality rules that not only prohibit certain harmful practices, but also allow the Commission to develop and enforce rules to address new forms of discrimination. We are concerned by reports that you would replace this system with a set of minimum voluntary commitments, which would give a green light for Internet access providers to discriminate in unforeseen ways.