net neutralityA few weeks back, the federal government in the United States put Net Neutrality into effect, effectively protecting the open internet.

If you’re new to the Net Neutrality debate, it’s been raging on for quite some time. In general, protection of the open internet is a big win for the general public but the news is not being taken well by a number of internet service providers including Comcast and AT&T who fought the measure.

Net Neutrality Explained

Essentially, Net Neutrality is the principle that the internet is meant to be an open space, and all content on the internet should be available to everyone. Net Neutrality requires all providers to enable access to all content regardless of their sort, without favoring or blocking particular websites. Net Neutrality can be likened to the first amendment, but for the internet.

Several large player ISPS, including AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon have been on the other side of the Net Neutrality debate, supporting a two-tiered service model, allowing them to charge a premium fee for priority placement and faster speeds. These companies wanted the internet to look more like Cable TV – where you only get the content you pay for.

That’s not exactly an open internet.

The internet doesn’t look much different today than it looked last week – we weren’t seeing many, if any, ISPs throttling web traffic or charging websites to provide priority traffic. Now, however, those practices are illegal and governed by the FCC. That’s good news for most.

Why Are ISPs So Against Net Neutrality and the Open Internet?

AT&T has been one of the biggest opponents within the Net Neutrality debate, also using the first amendment argument because they don’t want to be subject to additional rules, and have the FCC in charge of their business practices. This is because they own their infrastructure, and have made a significant investment in providing their services and feel as if they should be in control since they were the ones laying down fiber optic cables – not the government. 

Who is in Favor of Net Neutrality?

Whereas the service providers are against these new regulations, content providers, including Facebook, Netflix, Twitter and Vimeo are rejoicing at the news of Net Neutrality, knowing that their content will remain readily available without having to pay fees to service providers who can slow them down. These rules would prohibit occurrences like Verizon blocking Google Wallet in 2011, or Comcast slowing down Bit Torrent in 2013.

The Effect of Net Neutrality on Small Businesses

Small business owners depend on the open internet. In order to affectively launch and operate a business, you need the whole internet at your disposal. If the web was closed off, business owners would be shut out, with some unable to thrive at all. Without Net Neutrality, businesses could be subject to higher costs, and unable to complete on a level playing field with larger businesses.

There were some rumblings that without Net Neutrality, small businesses wouldn’t be able to rely on YouTube as a part of their marketing strategy because the ISPs would support a “pay for play” model for visual content. Fortunately with Net Neutrality, we can continue producing TNtv videos as often as we would like.

The open internet is running full Throttle and so should your business. At ThrottleNet, we don’t think you should be held hostage by anything that distracts your company’s goals. We’re here to make sure your IT needs are met, so your business can thrive. If your business needs managed services in St. Louis, we’re here for you. Contact us to learn more, and visit us on Facebook today.