Hey everyone — we don’t normally get political, but today I want to take a brief moment to share our thoughts on the open internet.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing to roll back the 2015 Title 2 Classification laws for internet service providers (ISPs) which provides the legal groundwork for treating all internet traffic as equal. Small startups like Discord depend on this law for fair access to fast and low latency internet pipes in order to compete with large incumbent companies.

While government regulation is something to be careful about, ISPs in the US are effectively local monopolies. This market position gives them the power to use predatory business practices such as throttling internet packets unless they’re paid. This has happened before the 2015 laws were enacted and will likely happen again should Title 2 be rolled back.

Each month, Discord moves about 17 petabytes of voice data around the internet. This will grow a lot more with video chat and screen sharing (Update: the numbers grew a lot more with video chat and screen sharing.) If we were required to pay an ISP for low latency and non-throttled access to the internet, Discord would probably not exist today. Continuing to offer incredibly high quality service depends on spending our resources to improve our service and not paying a “tax” to ISPs to do so.

If you want to prevent large monopolistic ISPs from predatory behavior, you should support the Net Neutrality laws that are currently in effect.

The FCC is voting to repeal Net Neutrality on Dec. 14th 2017. Please support Net Neutrality by calling your local congressman and voicing your support. Check out battleforthenet.com for direction.

Thanks for your continued support of Discord! Support support support!

Founder/CEO, Discord