The FCC votes today on adopting Net Neutrality rules. This is an important debate and you can be sure that the telcos and their lobbyist's have been throwing all the money and influence they can at this issue.
One of the arguments from the telcos is that Net Neutrality will hamper investment in the infrastructure. I agree that is a risk. But if the FCC does not set the ground rules and insure open access to the infrastructure for everyone, that will hamper investment in what runs on top of the infrastructure.
That is why I signed my name to this letter earlier this week along with many other leading VCs and entrepreneurs:
Dear Chairman Genachowski:
We write to express our support for the Commission’s ongoing efforts to adopt rules to safeguard the open Internet. As business investors in technology companies, we have first-hand experience with the importance of a guaranteeing an open market for new applications and services on the Internet. Clear rules to protect and promote innovation at the edges of the Internet will reinforce the core principles that led to its extraordinary social and economic benefits. Open markets for Internet content will drive investment, entrepreneurship and innovation. For these reasons, Net Neutrality policy is pro-investment, pro-competition, and pro-consumer.
Permitting network operators to close network platforms or control the applications market by favoring certain kinds of content would endanger innovation and investment in an investment sector which represents many billions of dollars in economic activity. The Commission is absolutely correct to propose clear rules that require competition. The promise of permanently securing an open Internet will deliver consumers and innovators a perfect free market that drives investment, job creation, and consumer welfare. These principles should apply across all Internet access networks, wired or wireless.
Investment and innovation at the edge of the network will create not just jobs but also new tools and opportunities for communication, education, health care, business, and every other human endeavor.
We look forward to working with you in developing clear rules to protect the open Internet, and in building together a framework to secure its future and promote its continued growth.