What is net neutrality and how can it affect your business?

The topic of net neutrality has been the subject of much discussion in forums and discussion boards in the United States for a long time. To first understand why many companies are so upset about the issue, you need to understand what net neutrality is.

What is net neutrality? According to a Business Insider article, net neutrality prevents ISPs from dictating the type of content that users will be able to access online. Instead, ISPs must treat all traffic sources equally. Why is this issue so controversial that the US Court of Appeals had to weigh in on it? Because Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast want to charge for the use of their networks. That is, these providers will have the ability to choose what consumers watch online and then charge content providers.

Internet speed is basically a lump sum game. If your competition can pay to drive in the fast lane, then by default your small business is placed in the slow lane. The deeper the pockets of the company, the more competition they can overcome on the way to new customers. Right now, many small bloggers and startup websites have exactly the same opportunity to reach an audience as large corporations. However, it is important that you understand what net neutrality is and how it can affect you. When you lower it, net neutrality means that all data is equally accessible over the internet. This means that regardless of whether you are a small accounting firm or one of the renowned international firms, you have the same access to the location of information and access to other information via the web. You also need to factor in things like advertising and marketing budgets to get the word out, but in terms of accessibility, you’re on a level playing field with big dogs. If net neutrality goes out the window, so does equal accessibility. Some things to consider:

Pay more for better access:

The absence of net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to create levels of accessibility, which means they can start demanding more money for better accessibility. Smaller companies with tight budgets will not be able to compete for access with larger companies that can afford to pay the new fees. It also means that there is nothing stopping large companies or competitors from paying ISPs to slow down access to other sites, putting them out of business.

Limited access to content:

ISPs may limit what you have access to based on their own corporate interests. From Business Insider: “For example, Comcast would probably like to promote NBC content through ABC to its Internet subscribers. That’s because Comcast and NBC are affiliated. But net neutrality prevents Comcast from discriminating. , and it should show both NBC and ABC. the content evenly as a result. That means there is no slower load time for ABC, and there is definitely no full blocking of ABC. ” If net neutrality disappears, there is nothing to prevent corporate discrimination like this, which means that your storefronts for vendors may be limited to only those on Rodeo Drive. Your favorite sources of information may not be as available to you as they are now.

Limited access for potential clients:

While the example above explained how you would be limited in what you could access (which could increase costs for your business as your options decrease), it also works the other way around. Prospects will now also have a harder time finding it. The entrepreneur compares this to when buying cable TV: “Instead of being able to sell to anyone with an internet connection … entrepreneurs would find that their customers are limited to those who paid for the ‘internet bundle’ that covers the access to your particular website. It would be like your cable TV plan: the more you pay, the more channels you get. ” In essence, your customers may only be directed to shop windows on Rodeo Drive and not realize that there are more efficient and just as effective options as you.

Slower charging times:

So let’s say ISPs don’t completely block access to those sites that are not part of their approved network. That does not mean that they will not try to incentivize you to visit their preferred sites. They can do this by interrupting streaming or slowing down load times on websites that don’t pay a premium. The speed and reliability of a site can help or ruin you. Admit it, you just decided to leave a page when it took more than a couple of seconds to load. That impatience is universal and could affect your website traffic. And if you want to engage in video marketing and broadcast on your website, you may be upstream without a paddle (drifting slowly, very slowly).

Leveraging Video Marketing:

SMEs that rely on video (such as YouTube, Netflix, etc.) as part of their marketing strategy could be affected if net neutrality is removed. For example, if your business broadcasts video to homes across the country, or if you want customers to view videos of your business’s products, you are likely to be affected. Similarly, if SMBs cannot pay ISPs to share their content, their potential customers may not be able to view product videos and may not be attracted to buy your products. Also, the investment in producing and optimizing the videos will result in a financial loss. The FCC’s decision, therefore, could have an impact on your SME and how you will be able to access the Internet in the future.

As a small business owner, it is important to understand net neutrality. The decisions you make could have an impact on your small business and how you will be able to access the Internet in the future.

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