* FCC announced plans to dismantle net neutrality regulations
* New rollbacks would give ISPs ability to regulate the web
* Startups like Etsy, Warby Parker and Imgur are fighting back
The process to dismantle net neutrality has begun, and startups across the country are furious.
The new FCC chairman hopes to loosen internet restrictions imposed by the Obama administration, by giving more power to internet service providers. The restrictions, which were pushed to help prevent broadband companies from altering the way people browse the internet, are now seen as a roadblock in ISP development.
Under the new rollbacks, ISPs would be able to regulate web traffic and manipulate how customers browse the web. But while these new rules would give more power to Comcast, AT&T and other internet providers, it’s predicted to stifle the startup industry. Now, more than 800 tech companies have started lobbying against the rollbacks by sending a joint letter to the FCC urging them to reconsider their stance.
Startups like Github, Warby Parker, Etsy and others argue that by giving ISPs more power, they create an uneven market, hurting small business and dictating how people are able to use the web.
“Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market,” reads the letter. “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.”
The full letter (which is worth a read) can be found here. The FCC is expected to begin the repeal process on May 18.