The Netflix steaming service has added its voice to the growing number of politicians, companies and average internet denizens vehemently against the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality. In a statement released on Twitter, a representative from the company makes the case that startups like Netflix are only possible because of a free and open internet.
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
This isn't only about Netflix. Without #NetNeutrality, we would never have been able to grow into the business we have today. There's a whole future of startups that deserve that chance.— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. The company started as a direct-to-door DVD mailing service. Customers could buy and rent DVDs and schedule delivery through the company’s website. The company eventually scaled to focus only on DVD rental until 2007. That's when Netflix restructured to focus on online streaming, a direction it has maintained to this day.
The loss of net neutrality would mean that Netflix could be subject to throttling by internet service providers with little in the way of recourse. Until the recent vote, ISPs were forced to treat all data on the internet as the same. The current ruling, if upheld, would allow ISPs to discriminate against certain data sources.
It’s no surprise that Netflix wants to maintain net neutrality, as leaving bandwidth decisions up to ISPs could seriously hurt the company’s ability to provide unobstructed service to its customers. In the tweet, the company also maintains that the net neutrality issue is far larger than just Netflix, as repercussions could be felt in every walk of modern life, from online streaming and gaming to household VOIP calling services.