Why Net Neutrality is Crucial for Your Small Business
Net neutrality is “the idea, principle, or requirement that Internet service providers should or must treat all Internet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination.” Thus, no matter if you are a one-person operation with a website that is primarily for local customers or a multinational conglomerate that serves millions, your sites are treated the same. No one gets an advantage over the other.
Net neutrality is under attack by the new FCC Chairman, and if he and the FCC remove the current protections, it could have a devastating impact on how your small business can compete for customers on the Internet. Here are a few reasons why keeping net neutrality rules are crucial for your small business!
Keeps A Fair Playing Field
Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give internet service providers (like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T) control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.
By imposing these financial restrictions on small businesses, the FCC will be unfairly targeting your small business and removing your ability to compete against big corporations. Net neutrality rules are necessary to keep a level playing field that will allow your small business to contend for market share.
Supports Small Businesses
In February 2015, the FCC passed regulations giving the agency the ability to protect the principles of net neutrality. The regulations aim to ensure that all of the Internet content you want to access will be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs), and also to give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from the ISPs. This means that your operation, no matter its size, currently gets the same chance to compete on the internet against giants like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Best Buy.
Net neutrality supports small businesses by making sure they get a fair shake and aren’t immediately beaten out by being forced to pay huge fees they can’t afford just to reach their targeted audience. If this were the case, many small businesses would never be able to get on their feet or gain any advantage against major corporations with unlimited budgets, reducing competition and hindering or defeating potentially great businesses and products. Without net neutrality, small businesses won’t have the support needed to succeed.
Gives Freedom to Consumers
With current net neutrality rules, consumers have the power to research and find businesses and products that are right for them, without any company having unjust influence in that decision. This helps small businesses get their products and services to those who need them most, and grow their companies!
If internet service providers get to start making decisions on who gets to see what content and when it will greatly hinder the ability of potential customers to find your website and know that you exist as an alternative to a big box store or other national service providers. By taking away the freedom of consumers to research and find businesses they’d like to buy from, they are also taking away your company’s ability to compete for their business.
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an internet where websites of small businesses are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.
But today, the Internet is coming together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities are standing tall, and sounding the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.
Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter