Will Changes to Net Neutrality Affect Your Business?

business owner

In the big scheme of modern history, the Internet is still a relatively new technology. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Internet has completely transformed the entire world. From communication to commerce, the Internet plays a central role in shaping our daily experiences. It wasn’t that long ago when “getting online” was a dedicated activity. But now that everyone has access to the full Internet from their phones, we rarely think of online activities as something separate from our normal routines.

While we’ve all gotten used to the Internet being open and accessible, it’s important to remember that state of being isn’t guaranteed. Instead, it’s something that can be changed by the government or other controlling entities. Currently, changes to net neutrality have the potential to reshape the face of the Internet. We want to use this post to go over exactly what those changes are, as well as what they could mean for your business.

What’s Happening to Net Neutrality?

When the original net neutrality framework was put into place, it had a few primary goals. Two of those goals were ensuring that ISPs didn’t block content deemed “undesirable” or artificially slow down loading times. Not surprisingly, these restrictions weren’t something that ISPs favored, which is why they’ve put a lot of resources into lobbying against net neutrality over the last few years. And towards the end of 2017, that lobbying paid off for them when a majority of the FCC voted in favor of ending the current version of net neutrality.

Although we won’t know the full effects of this change until further down the line, Internet Service Providers don’t have a good track record of playing fairly. There are plenty of examples prior to net neutrality of ISPs abusing their position. This is why one of the biggest concerns surrounding this repeal is ISPs will adopt a “pay to play” model and jack up prices for anyone who wants decent Internet speeds.

The Impact of Net Neutrality Changes to Your Business

Because this topic stirs up a lot of emotion, we want to take a step back by sharing both the worst and best case scenarios. The worst case scenario for businesses is ISPs deliberately slow down e-commerce websites and force them to pay a monthly fee in order to load faster. Having a noticeably slower site would cause problems like a higher bounce rate, fewer customers checking out and even lower search engine rankings.

On the other hand, the best case scenario is no major changes are made by ISPs that affect SMBs selling online. There has been a lot of talk that any throttling will be in regards to high bandwidth services like streaming, so there’s definitely a strong possibility that your business won’t be negatively affected.

For the time being, the best thing you can do is keep up with any new developments, which we will be sure to share with you on our payments blog.

Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018