Colorado startups, national accelerators band together to fight for net neutrality

BOULDER — The Techstars accelerator has teamed up with its main competition, Y Combinator, and startup policy group Engine to pen a letter to the Federal Communications Commission requesting that it protect net neutrality.

About 30 Boulder startups signed onto the letter, including Sphero, Foundry Group and InvitedHome.

Broomfield’s Innovation, Fort Collins’ The Food Corridor, Longmont’s Earned and Nederland’s Athlete Progress LLC also signed the letter, as did about 16 companies based in Denver and a few other Colorado startups.

In all, more than 800 startups, innovators and investors signed the April 26 letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

In the letter, the signees say that without net neutrality, those that provide access to the internet will be able to pick “winners or losers” in the market, which would impede traffic from startups’ services in favor of the providers’ services or established competitors. There are also concerns of tolls that will inhibit consumer choice.

“The success of America’s startup ecosystem depends on more than improved broadband speeds,” the letter states. “We also depend on an open Internet — including enforceable net neutrality rules that ensure big cable companies can’t discriminate against people like us. We’re deeply concerned with your intention to undo the existing legal framework.”

The letter goes on to request that rather than dismantling the 2015 regulations that established the current net neutrality rules, the FCC focus on policies that would strengthen the Internet for everyone and remove unnecessary barriers to construction of new networks, which fosters increased competition and faster, more open internet access.

The letter can be read here. In total, the Colorado companies to sign the letter were:

From Boulder: Techstars, AbiEzzi Consulting, Attentive Inc., Augur Technologies Inc., Bonusly, DevOps LLC, Fitbot, Foundry Group, hobbyDB, Ignighter Inc., Imatest LLC, InvitedHome, IronCore Labs Inc., Kapost, Neighborland, New Tech Colorado, pingWHEN, PsychoGenealogical Research, Rayo Strategic Partners LLC, Redeam, ReplySend, Rezora LLC, Incorporated, Simple Energy Inc., SnapEngage, Sphero, TeamSnap, Ushahidi,, WorkBright and Yonomi.

 Broomfield: Innovation .

Carbondale: Nexus Media Group LLC.

 Denver: Bridge21, EDN Inc., GAN, GoSpotCheck, K Squared Fund, Listen.MD, Loxo, MeetMindful Inc., P2Binvestor, Revolar, SecureSet, Shush, Sigmend, Spigot Labs, Valid Evaluation Inc. and Waggit.

Fort Collins: The Food Corridor.

 Longmont: Earned.

 Nederland: AthleteProgress LLC.

Thornton: AcuRapid.