Dear Arkansas Entrepreneurs:
I am writing to call attention to an important issue that affects the Arkansas startup community: Net Neutrality.
Net neutrality is a framework that enforces Internet service providers to treat all traffic on their networks equally. That means companies like Time Warner or Comcast should not block or slow down access to any website.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced plans to roll back existing legal framework surrounding this issue.
Entrepreneurs building new products and services on the Internet must be able to fairly reach consumers—not only in Arkansas, but around the country. Connecting to customers through the Internet is key, and the dismantling of the current rules would allow big cable companies to discriminate against smaller companies.
The Venture Center's VC FinTech Accelerator portfolio companies are a prime example of companies that contribute to economic growth, but whose success relies on the ability to reach regional, national and global partners and consumers. These company are providing important innovation to the global financial services industry. These companies cannot continue to gain traction or reach consumers without a fair and open Internet.
We believe the FCC Chairman is putting Arkansas companies and our burgeoning startup ecosystem at risk.
More than 600 companies have signed on from 45 states have signed the petition, but—as of last week—no Arkansas companies have. If your company supports Net Neutrality, please join us along with our entrepreneur, investor and accelerator friends from around the country in signing this letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Entrepreneur & CEO
The Venture Center
P.S. Learn more from Venture Center advisory board member Brad Feld's blog here.