In December 2017, the FCC voted to end net neutrality, a concept put into law by the Obama administration. What is net neutrality and how could it impact your Chandler business? Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) treat all digital content equally no matter what the content is or where it is hosted. In other words, content is delivered without prejudice to an unregulated marketplace.
In typical big government fashion, a big bunch of nothing has happened so far which is good for your Chandler business.
It means Cox Communications and other Arizona ISPs are still delivering content and service the way they were last year. The question is, how long will it last?
Ultimately, they have the option of loading certain content faster than others. News sites could have faster load time than videos, for example, and it’s all up to the provider. So far not much has happened.
Net Neutrality and How Could It Impact Your Chandler Business
Just because the government isn’t moving fast doesn’t mean they aren’t working. In the future, you may see new internet service plans. For example, if you use Facebook and LinkedIn, there is one package and if you use Hulu or Netflix, there is an additional charge. Think of it like cable packages but for the internet.
For small to medium sized businesses, the loss of net neutrality could mean a higher cost of doing business if you want to maintain high speed internet.
Paying more for premium internet access means that those with less to spend will get less access which some say is a civil liberties violation (cue the lawsuits). Not only that but free internet access at your favorite coffee shop or local library could end. For medical practices and law offices, it could mean having to pay more for high speed internet access or pay the same for lower speed access; either way it impacts your practice operationally and at the bottom line.
If you’re one of the many who believed the internet to be the great equalizer, you could be in for a rude awakening. As the age of equality on the net ends or at least takes a sharp turn, start-ups who once had automatic online access could be squeezed out by bigger (and richer) competition. The full impact remains to be seen.
Whether you’re binge watching your favorite show on Netflix or running your Chandler business, the end of net neutrality has the potential to hit you in the wallet and change the speed and type of information you’re receiving online.