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The success of America’s startup ecosystem depends on more than improved broadband speeds. We also depend on an open internet — including enforceable net neutrality rules that ensure internet service providers like big cable companies limit how and what we share on the internet.  

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 to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose discriminatory fees on us, inhibiting consumer choice. Our companies should be able to compete in the marketplace based on the quality of our products and services, not the ability to pay tolls to internet access providers.

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 believe this is the right approach.

Now is the time to voice support of net neutrality. The new leader of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Chairman Ajit Pai, has said he wants to roll back existing net neutrality rules that prevent big cable companies from discriminating against online companies and services. Congress is lining up behind him.

Together with Engine Advocacy and Y Combinator, we are organizing a letter opposing these actions, signed by startups, investors, accelerators, incubators, and entrepreneurs. Help us stand up for a free and open internet.

If you also support net neutrality, we invite you to add your company’s name to this letter, and share it with other entrepreneurs and innovators in your network.

We will transmit the letter to Chairman Pai on May 1. All signatures must be received by 5 pm ET April 28.

David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Founder & Co-CEO of Techstars, previously founder of several technology companies. David is an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com