This post originally appeared on the Shapeways blog.
This week, Shapeways is proud to join over 800 of our fellow startups and tech companies in support of net neutrality. Our letter to the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commisson, Ajit Pai, reiterates the importance of a fair, open internet to Shapeways and the entire Shapeways community.
This letter is necessary because Pai has indicated interest in rolling back the landmark open internet rules established by the FCC in 2015. Those rules formalized the protections that allowed for the growth of the internet that we know today.
Shapeways has long supported net neutrality because we understand how critical an open internet is to our success and to the success of every Shapeways user. Shapeways started as a small company in the Netherlands based on a technology that few people had heard of. We were in no position to cut deals and make special payments to big internet service providers just to be able to reach our customers. Net neutrality allowed us to grow as our community grew, not as gatekeeper internet service providers would let us grow.
The independent shop owners, makers, and creators that make up the Shapeways community rely on an open internet as well. They reach their fans, customers, and collaborators without having to worry about what the company that connects them to the internet thinks about their activity.
We hope that our letter will remind Pai of the importance of net neutrality and help convince him not to overturn these critical rules. We thank Engine, Techstars, and Y Combinator for helping to organize this letter, our colleagues for joining it, and all of the organizations and individuals who have fought — and will continue to fight — for an open internet. We understand that includes many members of our community, who we will keep you updated as this process continues to evolve.