At Foursquare, we believe everyone should have an opportunity to create their own business and build great products. As a company that started at a kitchen table in the East Village, we are especially aware companies need to have an equal playing field in order to grow and thrive.
That’s why we are joining with other technology companies, Internet advocates, and users to let the FCC know that an Internet with “fast” and “slow” lanes is unacceptable. For nearly two decades, the Internet has given rise to thousands and thousands of businesses, created countless jobs, and, spawned products and services used by millions around the world because everyone had a chance to compete equally.
However, the FCC’s current proposal is threatening to remove that equal playing field. While the FCC claims that their proposal will provide for an open internet, in truth, their proposed rules will allow internet providers to discriminate and charge differently by things like user, content, or application. They would allow ISPs to introduce pay-to-play schemes and to make “commercially reasonable” deals to prioritize content. Determining what is and is not “commercially reasonable” is an added level of uncertainty for new startups trying to launch their services on the internet, and one that startups don’t have the legal budgets to figure out. Imagine if startups couldn’t compete with established companies, or a world where new concepts couldn’t take hold. Innovation would take place at a pace of the status quo’s choosing - not according to customer demand.
Ultimately, we all will suffer if these rules are allowed to take root. It could mean increased subscription fees for your favorite sites, or even the end of countless innovative startups who don’t have the funding to purchase access to fast lanes in order to compete with large companies. How we all use the Internet will be negatively affected.
Please join with us and make your voice heard. Go to Battle for the Net and Congress and the FCC that you want an open internet.