& Your Small Business
What is net neutrality and will it impact your business?
Net Neutrality, Network Neutrality or Open Internet are
terms that refers to the ability for data to flow across the
internet without being discriminated and charged for based
on the type of data.
There are many types of data that crosses the
Internet which includes online gaming, FTP communications,
P2P Communications, video, etc.
Right now there are no laws that prevents service providers
from charging a different fee based on the data type that is
transmitted across their networks.
Currently service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, RCN, Time
Warner Cable, etc. charges customers a single fee based on
bandwidth (upload and download speeds).
But imagine if they decided to charge a fee based on the
type of data stream.
If you have a popular website that gets a lot of
traffic, sell software online where it is downloaded by
consumers, provide an online gaming service, or communicate
with other computers in your network over the Internet.
Websites that get a lot of traffic could be slapped
with a higher fee.
Less people will be willing to view your videos if
they have to pay a higher fee to do so.
If service providers decided to charge based on the data
type it could have a negative impact on online commerce.
This could result in small businesses and startups
having to bear a cost (that does not exist today) to reach
Attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to
regulate this are of the internet has been turned down by
In its effort to make sure that Internet stays free
and open the FCC established three basic Open Internet rules
covering transparency, no blocking and no unreasonable
You can view these rules at the
However, to date,
courts have ruled that the FCC does not
have the authority to regulate broadband.