As stated in a recent article released by NPR, “The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight. The vote is expected to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which prevent broadband companies from slowing down or blocking any sites or apps, or otherwise deciding what content gets to users faster.”
How can this affect your small business?
To explain this as simply as possible: With net neutrality, internet service providers must treat every site on the internet equally. That means, as an internet user, you have the freedom to visit any website you choose, with no limitations, and that your internet service provider isn’t blocking the content you see or messing with the speed of the data you are receiving. However, if net neutrality is repealed, internet providers will be able to do exactly that.
Internet providers will be able to limit the speed of the internet based on the website it is going to or even charge you additional subscription fees to view certain social media and streaming sites like Facebook and Netflix. This means, as a small business owner, you would have to pay a hefty fee to have the same internet speed and prioritization as large chain businesses like Goodyear or Midas. And as a regular internet user, you could potentially be incurring more fees to do what used to be free. Think about it. The repeal of net neutrality, which is a very real probability, could crush small businesses and make them virtually invisible on the internet.
How Can You Help?
Educate yourself. Read as much information as you can about net neutrality so you are well-informed and fight for your right as a citizen and small business owner to have your website and business treated equally online. You can reach out to your state representatives and the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. We have included a couple links at the bottom of this post, if you would like to learn more.