Net neutrality rules: What you should know and its effects on your business

Net neutrality rules is all about free and open internet for all. It’s the reason why the internet is open and free. But as at today, net neutrality rules are dead.

Net neutrality rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just killed net neutrality rules to protect the open internet under the directions of President Trump of the USA. Net neutrality rules (protections) was put in place in 2015 as a response to internet service providers (ISPs) trying to regulate the internet.

For instance, under these principles, ISPs are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

In perspective, the internet was free and fair. Then, some big companies came in and wanted to start charging. The government stepped in and said the internet is going to remain free and fair. Now, the “free and fair” is no more.

In the early and mid 2000s, big cable companies began trying to regulate the internet. This protection was put into place to prevent that. Now, they will be able to regulate many parts of the internet. That is a big deal to anyone with an online business.

Net neutrality has always been in existence. The protection was established in 2015 so that it would remain this way. Now, it will be regulated by large corporations.

This is bad for small online businesses. And this will impact every small business in several ways.

Think of it like cable TV. There are thousands of channels, but you can only see the ones you pay for. You won’t need marketing as you wont have a competitive market. Your limited options will only be served to you via your ISPs.

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There might also be a “pay to play” system in place similar to cable TV. Basically, your ISP will be able to limit your search by using their search engines. No more Google for you. Since each ISP will have their own search engine and there will be no other search engines offered.

Load speeds will be slower and small websites will have an even more uphill battle to be found online.

This reminds me of China. The Government heavily regulates the internet. Which is wrong to me. In this case, corporations will regulate the internet in America. Same thing but different entities.

The US Government are not regulating the internet but the companies that provide access to the internet for a fee. These companies are not free.

This affects all entrepreneurs. This is so anti capitalism and it is shocking even in 2017.

This will stop competition among businesses. It’ll no longer be the best service, best company or best innovations. But the companies or people with the most money to spend.

Most people with lots of money don’t innovate because they are comfortable and don’t need to, so they don’t. It’s the startups (the dreamers) that innovate.

In the nearest future, if you don’t have the money to pay internet service providers to include your small startup blog or website on their offering, an ISP can block access to your site unless you pay to be included in their service.

This could mean that websites will be on a tier pricing. Imagine ordering cable with different packages. Users on premium package get all channels, second tier users get 80 percent of channels and so on. Something similar might happen.

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Corporations want to be able to carve up the websites available on the internet. They want to put access to different websites in a package deal, then sell that service to customers.

What we have now is that you pay for internet speed and get access to any website online. What does this mean for new blogs and websites?

As an online business owner, you’ll have to pay every internet service provider in the US so that your website is available on their platform. For example, you will have to pick and choose which companies to pay to, so their customers can have access to your products and services.

This is a tax on businesses for something that was previously free.

It’s like internet a la carte – you only get access to the parts of the internet you’re willing to pay for. This is terrible for innovation because big companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix can subsidize your ability to access their sites and effectively block out competition for internet startups.

Imagine trying to build a Netflix competitor if customers have to pay more just to be able to visit your site.

It could also mean that Netflix pays the ISPs so that they will serve content from Netflix faster than other content on the internet. Who is ever going to watch video on a Netflix competitor with slow load times?

It’s a way for ISPs to squeeze more revenue from users and content providers while shutting down innovation on the internet. This is terrible for consumers and small start-ups.

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The decentralized nature of the internet is what has allowed the rapid pace of innovation over the last 30 years. And the end of net neutrality would greatly jeopardize this. The end of net neutrality in the US has the potential to kill startups and entrepreneurship worldwide.

These are all speculations of what might eventually happen in the future. In the past, some big companies are guilty of all these things.

For example, Verizon blocked Google Wallet in 2012 or when Comcast slowed down BitTorrent downloads and extracted payments from Netflix to deliver their content at a greater speed.

Cases like these are the reason why the net neutrality rules was in place the first time. And now that the open internet is no longer protected. What will happen to your business?

Prepare yourself. Chances are high that your business may suffer from this. Unless the big internet service providers decide they are nice guys and will not use this to their advantage.

Adeyemi Adetilewa is the founder of Ideas Plus Business, online brand strategist, digital marketing consultant, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He writes about business, marketing, and technology. Featured on the HuffPost, Evan Carmichael, Thrive Global, and several other publications.

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