You may have heard a lot about net neutrality in the news. You might be concerned about how the repeal could potentially affect your business. It’s important to know the facts about net neutrality, and what it means for website traffic.
What is Net Neutrality?
To understand net neutrality, it’s important to know the role of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The company who provides your internet access – such as a cable, DSL, wireless, or phone service provider – is your ISP.
Those who agree with net neutrality think that ISPs should simply provide equal access to the internet for all users. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission under President Barack Obama adopted rules intended to meet this objective.
Without such rules, ISPs could be able to prioritize traffic to certain websites or networks, and block or significantly slow down traffic to others. ISPs could make users pay extra to access certain websites, or make businesses pay more to have their traffic prioritized.
Why is Net Neutrality Important for Society?
A free flow of information is an essential component of a well-educated society. Without net neutrality, proponents argue that ISPs and their parent companies can control the flow of information to certain people. This could result in lesser quality experiences for some, such as unequal opportunity to utilize quality educational resources, or biased news and dishonest articles. ISPs could arbitrarily choose to block a website they don’t agree with, or speed up a website that has paid them a lot of money.
How Can Repealing Net Neutrality Affect My Website?
Small businesses can definitely be affected if net neutrality were repealed. If ISPs choose to block or slow down traffic on websites for monetary reasons, businesses who cannot afford to pay may find their sites are no longer serving their purpose. Because the internet is such an essential component of communication in the modern world, new businesses or startups just won’t have the same chance to thrive. Picture a world where Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page couldn’t get the edge on sites with ISP relationships.
There is still a chance for Congress to overturn the Trump FCC’s recent decision to repeal net neutrality. So contact your Congressperson to let them know how this monumental change could affect your business. And if you’re looking to start a new website, contact us to learn more.