Today, Shapeways is proud to join in the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality. We passionately support net neutrality because it enables not only our business, but also competitiveness, economic growth, free expression, and innovation worldwide. If you haven’t yet, please visit DearFCC.org or BattleForTheNet.com to join the chorus of internet users affirming their support for an open internet. And check out this post for tips on how to write an impactful letter on this issue.
Without an open internet, there would be no Shapeways. When we founded Shapeways back in 2008, very few people had heard of 3D printing and almost no one thought that there would be interest in an online platform to bring it to everyone.
Fortunately, I didn’t need permission from internet service providers to launch Shapeways. We built the platform, connected it to the internet, and let it grow as people discovered the amazing opportunities that 3D printing provides.
Shapeways has faced more than a few challenges in our almost nine years. We’ve been able to overcome them because we knew that as long as we provided a great service, people would be able to find us. We knew that people could find us because we were connected to an open internet.
Although the US net neutrality debate has gone through a number of rounds since the beginning of Shapeways, each one has been geared toward finding a way to strengthen protections for an open internet.
Unfortunately, for the first time, the current proposal intends to do just the opposite. Instead of searching for more robust ways to protect an open internet, it seeks to walk away from robust open internet rules demanded by internet users, implemented by the Federal Communications Commission, and upheld by the courts.
I believe that destroying the protections for an open internet would be disastrous for Shapeways and the Shapeways community — and even more so for new companies, which, like Shapeways, seek to disrupt and innovate. The open internet is what allows Shapeways to reach you, and what allows our shop owners to reach the world.
That’s why we’re taking time today to join with our peers and raise this issue to all of our users. Whether or not you agree with our position on net neutrality, it’s an important issue that impacts you as an internet user. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, please take a moment to visit DearFCC.org or BattleForTheNet.com to tell the U.S. government where you stand.
Thank you for being part of our community, and for sharing your voice.
Cover image: Net Neutrality Illustration by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D’Andrade dearfcc.org/ under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.