Crain's New York | 04.30.14

Rick Heitzmann Discusses Net Neutrality with Crains

By Judith Messina

Many techies are crying foul over a leaked FCC proposal that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites a premium for faster delivery of their content, saying it will turn the Internet into a two-tiered service—one for those who can pay the toll, and another, slower Internet for everyone else.

But at least one local entrepreneur isn’t panicking. Shay David, co-founder and chief revenue officer of video platform Kaltura, said his company won’t be affected but that his customers might be. The important thing, he said, is to protect the downside for those who don’t pay for premium service.

“The way to balance it is to guarantee a minimum quality of delivery but allow a free marketplace for enhanced service and quality,” he said.

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler emphasized the proposal’s safeguards, but that hasn’t convinced the tech community that it isn’t a looming disaster. Leaked just a week ago, the proposal has already generated a Kickstarter campaign, a 31-page brief to the FCC and a call to lobby Congress as tech workers warn it could short-circuit the startup pipeline in the city.

“The important thing for startups and for the whole Internet ecosystem is that a lot of applications and a lot of what’s going on in the Internet is still new and evolving,” said Rick Heitzmann, a managing director at FirstMark Capital. “Giving certain people faster lanes really does stymie innovation.”

Read the full article on Crain's New York