Net Neutrality and how it will affect your business in 2018
Written By Ryan Haft - December 14, 2017
Today, The Federal Communications Commision, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, decided to remove Obama-era consumer protections and regulations on the internet. You may have heard on the news in recent months that Net Neutrality was going to be repealed. Let’s discuss what exactly Net Neutrality was, what it did, and what it going away means for you and your business’ website.
What is (was) Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use.
In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.
These rules were put in place in late 2015 as a way to prevent the internet companies from slowing down or blocking access to sites that can’t pay them a fee. As a response to consumers “cutting the cord” and getting access to content like Netflix rather than through cable, ISPs were losing billions.
So now with Net Neutrality knocking on Death’s door, all of the internet providers now have the power to charge the consumer AND the websites more money to access the necessary websites they need for work and entertainment. Those that do not comply, might be lost on the web unable to access those sites without paying massive fees and charges.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Let’s say you are selling a product and that product needs to be advertised online. Your options are fairly limitless right now, you can run pre-roll ads on YouTube, banner ads on Facebook or search ads on Google. Without Net Neutrality, the access that consumers have to view those websites might be severely impacted and thus lower the eyes on your ads.
If you run a website for your business, Comcast might send you a letter saying that you are going to be charged to keep your website on the “preferred” internet package, otherwise it will be blocked. You get the same letter from Verizon, AT&T etc… Eventually it becomes too much of a hassle to run your website because it costs more to operate than you get in return from online purchases and enquiries.
It’s thanks to Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. Without Net Neutrality, internet companies will exploit their gatekeeper position and destroy the internet’s fair and level playing field.
The future of Net Neutrality now falls on the hands of Congress and the courts, make sure your voice is heard: