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Paul Miller / Flickr cc

Tech incubators and advocacy groups are trying to line up startup support in the brewing fight over the fate of the FCC's net neutrality rules. Powerhouse tech incubator Y Combinator, accelerator Techstars and startup advocacy group Engine are organizing an effort to push back on FCC Chairman's rumored plan to undo current net neutrality rules. The groups started soliciting signatures from companies earlier this week for a letter to Pai.

This paragraph sums up the letter:

"Fortunately, in 2015 the Federal Communications Commission put in place light touch net neutrality rules that not only prohibit certain harmful practices, but also allow the Commission to develop and enforce rules to address new forms of discrimination. We are concerned by reports that you would replace this system with a set of minimum voluntary commitments, which would give a green light for Internet access providers to discriminate in unforeseen ways."

Why it matters: Y Combinator brings a big brand name in the startup world to the fight over the net neutrality rules. Its head, Sam Altman, has already written in favor of the current regulatory regime. Evan Engstrom, Engine's executive director, said that the goal "is to get startups from every state to weigh in" and that the organizations are "pretty close to that goal."

Sound smart:

  • It's not a huge surprise that small startups are eager to engage in the fight over net neutrality. They don't have to make the same political calculations as big companies that have other issues on their plates, and they generally favor regulations that put them on a level playing field with those companies.
  • The Internet Association, the industry trade group representing Silicon Valley giants (think Google, Facebook and Netflix), told Pai earlier this week that they support existing net neutrality rules, but it remains to be seen how forcefully their member companies lobby against efforts to weaken the rules.

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

6 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

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