This week, Engine joined the chorus of voices challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 decision to repeal its 2015 net neutrality rules, which were critical to U.S. startups.
Internet service providers would like you to think there’s broad agreement on net neutrality because everyone agrees cable companies shouldn’t block or slow access to websites and online services. But mention the words “paid prioritization” and you’ll get a much different reaction. The issue is sure to divide the House Energy and Commerce Committee during its hearing on the topic next week.
The world of innovation is at an exciting point in time, unrivaled by anything we’ve ever seen before. The cost of launching a startup has never been cheaper and the process has never been more efficient. This is largely due to reduced business costs (e.g. server fees) resulting from advancements in technology services and internet access. What once cost a startup hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in capital expenditures just to get to the starting line is now accessible to almost anyone for much, much less. With the Internet, the distance between business and consumer has also shortened drastically; marketing directly to your customer demographic across the world is now possible. Additionally, information in the form of advice, mentoring, and best practices is now abundant and accessible. What was once restricted to Ivy League schools or knowledge bases such as New York and San Francisco is now available for free online.
Ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s vote late last week to dismantle 2015 net neutrality rules — which prevented ISPs from blocking or slowing access to certain websites — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continued to misrepresent his plan as a boon to innovators and Internet users across the country instead of the ISP industry sell out it really is.
“The Federal Communications Commission voted today to strip the critical protections that made the Internet a level playing field for startups. With its rushed, party-line decision to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Commission is ignoring the pleas of innovators, investors, and everyday users to keep the Internet free and open"
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order and reverse the agency’s Title II classification of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Today’s vote initiates a public comment period of 90 days. The following statement can be attributed to Engine Executive Director Evan Engstrom.
On April 26, more than 800 startups, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurial support organizations from all 50 states joined Engine, Y Combinator, and Techstars in sending a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to protect a free and open internet.
The net neutrality debate that dominated tech headlines in 2014 and 2015 was once again the top telecom issue in 2016, peaking in June with the U.S. Court of Appeals decision to uphold the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order. The telecom excitement didn’t end there, as policymakers dealt with a huge number of issues related to promoting telecom competition; preparing for a wireless, connected future; and building out broadband access in underserved parts of the country. In short, the momentum in 2015 carried over into 2016 in a big way. Looking ahead, 2017 is poised to be yet another busy year in telecom policy, though the impact of an incoming Trump Administration still remains uncertain.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his plans to step down from the agency on January 20, 2017. The following statement can be attributed to Engine Executive Director Evan Engstrom: “In his time at the helm of the FCC, Chairman Tom Wheeler has been a tireless champion for startups and innovators everywhere, and Engine is grateful for his service.
As the Republican National Convention kicked off this Monday, the GOP also released the final draft of their party’s platform. The platform, which was written with input from the party’s base sourced via www.platform.gop, included generous mentions of issues important to the startup community.
Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) historic net neutrality rules in a 2-1 vote. Affirming that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot block, throttle, or slow down web traffic at their own discretion, the ruling is a major victory for thousands of startups that depend on the open internet as a level playing field.
In the year since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved its historic Open Internet Order, net neutrality has faced countless attacks in both the courts and Congress. Once again, the Order and the FCC’s broader authority have come under fire. H.R. 2666, the “No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act,” threatens the FCC’s ability to fulfill its congressionally-mandated responsibilities and represents yet another attempt by anti-net neutrality lawmakers to undermine an open Internet.