Few users today think about how their Web sites are delivered to them. It is actually simple: your Internet service provider sends and receives information without giving anybody preferential treatment. This means that everything being equal, your Web site would load as fast as your Facebook page. Without net neutrality, companies could pay to make sure that their content and data are transmitted faster. For example, Comcast could enter into an agreement with Facebook wherein the social networking giant pays the ISP to deliver its data faster than other Internet traffic.
In this scenario, Facebook pages would load faster than Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, giving Facebook an unfair advantage over its competitors. On the other end of the spectrum, Comcast could technically slow down traffic coming from Facebook anytime they want.
Why is net neutrality important for your business?
Net neutrality levels the playing field for your business. This means that your data and content are delivered at the same speed as your bigger competitors. This means you will be able to compete and succeed against anyone out there.
Without net neutrality, there is something akin to blackmail that is going on. Your ISP could charge exorbitant rates to deliver your content to people. It could be that they can slow down access to your Web site or even block you out entirely if you do not pay their price. That means that your ISP might become greedy and ask businesses for money or else they would not distribute their content or data to customers or potential clients.
If that does happen, startups that need high speed Internet access to operate their business would be at a special disadvantage. Technically, ISPs would also be legally able to levy a surcharge for accessing certain types of content.
It is also possible that ISPs become greedy, letting businesses bid to have top speeds and full access for their sites. This means that bigger companies with deeper pockets might have an edge over smaller businesses.
The good news is that in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission prohibits an ISP from blocking any legal content.
The bad news is that net neutrality might be what we are enjoying now, but it is not really the default. Nor is it guaranteed. Currently, there are now legal impediments for any ISP to sell tiered Internet access that would ultimately be detrimental for businesses.
In fact, it is already happening. Netflix has a deal with both Verizon and Comcast to make sure that their movies and content are delivered faster and without hitches on both networks.
For the longest time, the online world has been seen as the great leveler. Startups, home-based businesses, and even corporations and multinational organizations are all treated equally. You can sell your stuff and it will be presented to potential customers in the same way that Sear’s or Amazon could sell their products. All that thanks to net neutrality.
Want to know more about net neutrality and its implications on your business? Call Four Cornerstone at 1 (817) 377 1144 and speak with our technology experts.