Net neutrality is a hot button topic that has been heavily discussed in both politics and business in the last several months. For many online businesses, especially those who utilize e-commerce, laws affecting the way people use the internet are a really big deal. In our current marketplace the internet is used not only as a way of communicating, but a way for creating and running many businesses. So you can see why net neutrality would be something that many people cared about. As an internet entrepreneur, it is essential to understand what is going on in regards to consumer internet access.
As defined in a google search of the term, net neutrality is, “The principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.”
What this means – An Internet Service Provider or ISP, is not allowed to block certain content or websites from users or charge additional fees (or subscriptions) for using certain websites as the ISP sees fit. With the repeal in process, many different organizations are continuing to fight for Net Neutrality to return to the standard.
What this means for online business – At this point there are many companies that operate online who have no reason for immediate concern. There are many ‘doomsdayers’ who claim that soon we will be charged or restricted for access to many sites, but in reality, if the ISP’s were to restrict or charge for website access, it would most likely be to websites where huge amounts of content and broadband is consumed. Most likely it would affect video streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu. These types of services are some of the strongest adversaries of the repeal. So while there is no reason for most online businesses to be concerned yet, this is something that should definitely be monitored. As a startup, it is imperative to understand what is happening in the landscape of the internet and find out how to use new laws or trends to your advantage.