For several months now, net neutrality has been covered everywhere from Forbes to Gawker.
As outlined by Gawker itself,
Net neutrality describes the idea that whoever provides you Internet access—for example, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and so on—should treat all of your Internet traffic, or packets of data, the same way. In the United States, the U.S. agency responsible with upholding laws related to net neutrality is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is based in Washington, D.C.
From start-up techies in opposition, citing it as a threat to internet freedom, to tech writers in favor, it seems thoughts on the matter run the full gamut.
How did the issue come to be in the first place? The background is somewhat stereotypical; big business (Verizon) comes up with a metered plan to further profit, as businesses will do. Government tries to stop them in order to retain as much power as possible, as governments will do.
And there we have it.
What fewer sites seem to have addressed, however, is how net neutrality would directly affect business.
The fact is that net neutrality isn’t really a business problem, it’s a small business problem.
Here’s why: just as in the real world, when the big fish in the pond are able to reach that fish food before any of the smaller fish are able to get a bite, those smaller fish will struggle until there’s nothing left of them.
As macabre as it may seem, this is the reality. Anything that can be bought, will be bought, by those with the resources to do so.
On the other side of the coin are those who believe net neutrality would stifle competition; this is a capitalist society, after all, and why fight something that works? Others see any further government regulation in any form at all an absolute issue.
Each business is of a different nature, and it’s up to you whether you think net neutrality would ultimately benefit or hinder your business, but knowing both sides of the argument and how each could alter your ability to compete as well as potential growth, is crucial.