There has been a ton of talk around net neutrality because of the FCC’s proposal to give Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – most notably Comcast and Time Warner – the power to prioritize bits of content creating fast lanes for people who pay for them. This has massive implications for startups and net neutrality proponents. Our good friends at Foundry Group and well-known VCs, such as Fred Wilson, are advocating the #StopTheSlowLane campaign and encouraging people to voice their opinion to Congress, Tom Wheeler, and the FCC.
The Importance of Net Neutrality
JumpCloud definitely falls into the net neutrality camp with our friends at Foundry and others in the startup community. Why? It’s because we value the opportunity to compete with giants on a level playing field. The Internet has provided that opportunity since the early ’90s. No one likes a slow-loading web page. We want to be able to give our customers the best experience possible. That starts with our website and the content we provide. However, startups are usually strapped for cash. If ISPs are making fast lanes for companies like Netflix who have the cash, slow lanes will be designated for people who can’t pay. That makes it tough for startups that already have some type of funding. In addition, it may make it impossible for the garage startup of young entrepreneurs to reach customers via the internet.
Low Barriers of Entry
Net neutrality is about keeping barriers to entry low. That is a good thing because it spurs startup growth and healthy competition. It sure beats the alternative: a market dominated by a monopoly. We are in the directory services space trying to develop a cloud-based alternative, so that’s a position we know. A free, open Internet enables small, talented teams to introduce better products into the market. These teams quickly catalyze technological innovation and solutions to problems in society.
Join the Net Neutrality Debate
Much of the debate revolves around whether the Internet is defined as a public utility, such as access to public drinking water, but we would love to hear from you and get your opinion. If you’re in the tech startup community and want to take action, check out the Stop the Slow Lane movement and sign the Fight for the Future petition.