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Network Neutrality

Jon Zieger on May 14, 2014

Stripe works with businesses of every size. Among them are thousands of startups: companies that challenge legacy business models and upend incumbents.

The FCC plans to vote tomorrow on whether to approve FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to divide the internet into fast lanes for toll-paying incumbents and slower channels for everyone else. This plan would make it harder for new businesses to succeed.

As we’ve written before, we believe in the power of impartial platforms. We’re building a platform ourselves, and we work hard to ensure that Stripe treats businesses of all size neutrally. Mr. Wheeler’s plan would push the internet in the opposite direction. It would give larger players a distinct advantage, hurt new companies, and dampen the rapid innovation that has thus far defined the internet economy.

For a payments company, the consistency and speed of the network are particularly important. Giving unfair advantages to large companies will yield a feedback loop, consolidating business in the hands of a few large players with the resources to pay the internet gatekeepers. An internet where certain retailers suffer throttled network connectivity is bad in the short term for consumer experience, and bad in the long term for consumer choice.

We ask the FCC establish clear and robust network neutrality rules that protect impartiality and discourage unfair economies of scale.