What is ‘Net Neutrality?’


What is ‘Net Neutrality?’

Net NeutralityRecently, you may have heard or read about an issue called “Net Neutrality.” This is one of those political or policy issues that can directly affect web designers, as well as the small business and professional people who use the internet for business purposes. That means just about all of them.

Net Neutrality is (or was) a set of regulations enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that required internet service providers (ISPs) to give equal treatment to all traffic going to or from any user. Internet service providers were not permitted to give or sell faster transmission service to websites or content producers that could afford to pay higher rates. This had been the policy under both the Bush and the Obama administrations; it meant that Joe’s Hardware Store was guaranteed internet access equal to that enjoyed by Lowes Home Improvement or Home Depot.

In December, the FCC approved a plan to end the Net Neutrality protections. Theoretically, this means that ISPs like Verizon or AT&T could give preferential treatment to big dollar customers. It is important to understand that no such thing has happened as yet and ISPs claim that they have no plans to do so. Free market economists claim that we will all be better off if ISPs are free to give whatever treatment they want to users. If the end user does not like it, they are free to go to another provider.

They point out that, more and more, the internet is a highway for services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or traditional broadcast networks like CBS to stream entertainment. This live or on-demand streaming is estimated to consume 80% or more of the internet’s data capacity in just a few years. ISPs claim that the added income from premium users will help them build the added capacity they are going to need. Public interest groups, consumer rights organizations and some internet giants like Google are opposed to doing away with Net Neutrality.

There are some arguments on both sides. Right now there is a movement in Congress to reverse the FCC ruling by law, making Net Neutrality a legal requirement, not simply a regulatory rule as it was before December. For internet marketers, there is nothing to be done now except to make your feelings known to your representatives in Congress. This possibility also means that the services of an internet marketing agency like Axiom are more important than ever. Whether Net Neutrality is restored by law or not, the day when cheap web design could do the job has passed.

If your professional practice or small business is struggling to find digital marketing solutions or branding strategies that work, it is time to call Axiom. Your business or non-profit requires more than a cheap web design and an amateur branding strategy. More than an internet marketing agency, Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and SEO techniques needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Axiom can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services pageor call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

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