By Joshua Davidson
The ethos of our company, Chop Dawg, is also what animates the Internet: vibrant innovation. Yet action in Washington threatens to stifle innovation on the Internet for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Yes, an 80-year-old statute enacted in an age when the closest thing to a mobile app was a pen has given the FCC virtually unrestrained power to impose enormous burdens on the Internet. At a time when small businesses should be taking advantage of technology, the FCC's decision will instead lead to higher Internet access fees, less investment, and, worst of all, less innovation.
Chop Dawg provides technical resources to enterprising start-ups. We help incredibly innovative people create new products and services every day. Generating new websites and mobile apps, we see how fast the Internet is changing, and we are quick to embrace this change. Unfortunately, Washington has not been.
It's obvious to us that the Internet of 2015 has nothing in common with the Depression-era telephone monopoly for which Title II was intended. Imposing cumbersome rules on a free-form medium like the Internet is a prescription for disaster. Investment in telecommunications slowed when it came under the FCC regulatory umbrella. We can't let that happen to the Internet.
Moreover, new FCC rules are already under attack in the courts. Litigation means uncertainty, and uncertainty further discourages investment and innovation. A slowdown in broadband innovation will hurt our industry the most but will inevitably affect all businesses that depend on the Internet to sell their goods and services.
That's why many diverse voices - inside and outside the technology world - are calling on Congress to overturn the FCC action and return us to the flexible regulatory scheme adopted 20 years ago. Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress would maintain net neutrality - the main feature of the FCC action - while protecting the Internet from efforts to block, impose, or charge more for the flow of content and information. It would also provide certainty to the technology industry, and that would encourage more investment and innovation.
We remain passionate about the Internet's capacity to change the world. It already has. And it will continue to do so far into the future. But broadband needs encouragement, not discouragement, from our leaders in Washington. We need Congress to take back control of the Internet from the FCC to make sure that it remains open and free.