The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to revoke net neutrality late last year. The new set of laws are set to be endorsed by the Senate in the coming month. Change in net neutrality laws have already caused controversy from all walks of life, including political leaders and celebrities. How this will impact business owners is the question now.
Net neutrality, in its original form meant that different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot charge you differently based on the type of service you use. Equal access, regardless of the size of corporation, meant that everybody was able to get content to their targeted audience, levelling out the playing field for freelancers and new startups to the ‘big boys’ alike.
The new regulations spell a negative change that can transform open and free access of internet away from small business owners. Data prioritization can become expensive, something small business owners cannot afford.
Revoking net neutrality comes with a variety of drawbacks for anyone that is not a multi-billion corporation. Here’s how it may impair your ability to do business online:
No New Content Unicorns
In an era where content is king , ‘pay-to-play’ policies means that no innovative content services will thrive, or worse, survive in the under the new net neutrality rules.
Imagine if YouTube videos always streamed faster than Vine videos. The 6-seconds would have had a much harder time gaining virality and eventually becoming acquired by Twitter later on. Slashing net neutrality means that ISPs have the option to slow your stream while prioritizing more ‘pay-to-play’ corporations.
Deteriorated Services For Your Customers
Direct to consumer products are how modern day startups operate. Relying on internet as the medium to market and sell their products, internet has become the backbone of the financial models of startups worldwide. However, if the page and images start loading slowly on their websites, it could cause a nightmare for the business owners. A bad user experience spells disaster including low customer retention rates and decrease in continued browsing, resulting in lower sales.
Your Favourite Software Can Simply Stop Working
If a consumer is using software that is in competition with their ISP, it could simply be BLOCKED. Yes, it nearly happened in the past as well, when Apple’s FaceTime caused losses to AT&Ts cellular services. However, sense and Net Neutrality prevailed. This time however, there will be no protection for the consumers once Net Neutrality is slashed.
More Problems for Startups, Less Competition For Big Corporations
The bottom line is revoking of net neutrality means it will become harder for small business to compete with more traditional and corporate counterparts. From slower content loading, bad user experience to preferential treatment for certain company-owned softwares, the ramifications for startups are bad.
Without equal division and access to internet services, the disruption in technology caused by the startups have less chances of emerging. Internet loses. And so does everyone else using it.