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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

10 Apr 2014

 

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Net Neutrality & 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 potential customers. 

Attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate this are of the internet has been turned down by the courts.   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 discrimination.  You can view these rules at the FCC’s website.

However, to date, courts have ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate broadband. 

Sources:
FCC
Wikipedia
Gigaom


By Jack River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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