There has been a lot of talk around net neutrality and what that means for the state of small and medium sized businesses, web marketers and internet service providers. Since this is somewhat of a political topic, we at sMaac Digital will try our best to keep our emotions in-check for once.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality in its purest form, is the equality of access to the web. This means that internet services providers such as AT&T and Comcast aren’t limiting your view-ability of the web to certain internet speeds or websites depending on how much you pay as a consumer or how much a website owner or business might pay to be shown through that ISP (internet service provider). We implore you to dig deeper into the understanding of net neutrality as there are multiple scenarios that outline the true meaning of the phrase.
Why ISPs are against net neutrality?
In the wise words of Jeff Rogan… “dolla dolla bills y’all”! Obviously, for ISPs (internet service providers) this is an avenue of gold.
- If a consumer decides to invest in a bare bones home internet service plan, that ISP (internet service provider) can in theory limit which websites you are able to view and at what speeds.
- If that same consumer decides to upgrade to a better plan with the same ISP, the consumer will have access to more popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter with a little better download speeds.
- If that same consumer upgrades to the premium version of the ISP’s internet service, they will have full access to internet speeds and web pages.
Now, this is a very crude form of not having net neutrality and there are other forms that this can be leveraged so ISPs have the best opportunity to become more profitable.
Does this affect digital marketers?
The non-neutrality based system has a direct correlation on web marketers and web based companies looking to break into a particular market.
Equality creates a more distributed or even playing field.
With net neutrality, anyone can enter their respective field by registering a website domain and hosting it. This gives you the same opportunities that Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc have. In the long run, this promotes competitive web marketing services due to the influx of businesses who can and want to compete with these larger companies.
Everyone already understands the gap from a small business and a large, established business with the capital to influence a market in their favor. It happens, it’s the way it is… but do we need to give those major players another leg up on opportunistic business owners looking to break into their respective field? Hell no!
How to keep net neutrality...
As Internet users, this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve had to fight for net neutrality and it probably won’t be the last. The web was designed and intended for the ease of access to information that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get through traditional methods. With a non-neutrality system, you take away this ability to openly learn, research, create new businesses, market to ALL USERS, and most importantly… have a good time being the internet junky that we all truly are. Some ways to help prevent non-neutrality are:
- Congress person, Senator or local representatives
- Use http://savetheinternet.com for those located in the United States
We at sMaac Digital hope you’ll support in the fight for net neutrality and are looking forward to reading your comments and concerns!