The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is facing rising criticism about its plans for net neutrality – or rather, as those critics claim – its plans to undermine the concept of net neutrality by making it acceptable for digital services to pay telcos to ensure smooth, fast delivery of their content and/or functionality. Now a group of more than 100 venture capitalists have signed an open letter to the FCC outlining their concerns. “Our investment decisions in Internet companies are dependent upon the certainty of an equal-opportunity marketplace,” it explains. “If established companies are able to pay for better access speeds or lower latency, the Internet will no longer be a level playing field. Start-ups with applications that are advantaged by speed (such as games, video, or payment systems) will be unlikely to overcome that deficit no matter how innovative their service… creators will have to ask permission of an investor or corporate hierarchy before they can launch. Ideas will be vetted by committees and quirky passion projects will not get a chance.” And it also warns that VCs will be “wary” of investing in such startups too.

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