How Is Net Neutrality Going to Change?

In short, net neutrality was struck down and is going to be repealed… decided in a 3 to 2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission. Just let that sink in. Three unelected commissioners determined the outcome of an extremely important issue that affects every internet user, with a ruling that flies in the face of public demands. The inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee, joined a number of internet pioneers in signing a letter to the FCC, imploring them to protect net neutrality. Note, the repeal isnot set to take place until June 11, so as of yet nothing has changed.

How Net Neutrality Being Gone Will Affect You

With net neutrality gone, you get an environment in which large, corporate players are given the ability to stranglehold, block, and suppress their competitors – and not because they offered consumers a better product, but because they literally cut off access between the consumer and their competitor. Is that conducive to a free market, because it results from minimal regulations/government intervention? Or does it stifle the free market, because it limits the ability for new competition and innovative business models to arise?

Slow Is The New Broken

As the net neutrality repeal goes into effect, websites like your company’s may be forced to pay a premium – or else the internet service provider will dramatically slow down the speed of your site. One of the most powerful new mantras I’ve come across in the digital age is: “Slow is the new broken.” The average internet user is notoriously impatient. Web page sessions for most companies range between 

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30 seconds to 1 minute and a half. If only 25-40% ‘bounce’ (leave the site without engaging with it in any way), this is considered excellent – showing that it’s hard enough to keep users on your site when you have indiscriminately fast internet speed. If your website is slow, users will not wait for you. This could cause Google and other search engines to bury your site beneath other search results, because their objective algorithm is clocking an enormous bounce rate for users who arrive at your now slow-loading site. This would not be the case for corporate giants, or affiliates of Verizon, Comcast, and other ISPs who can either afford to pay a premium for speed or don’t need to pay it because they themselves are housed under the corporate umbrella of that internet service provider.

The future of a internet without net neutrality remains unclear, although countless commentators have voiced their concerns in a similar vein. The first thing you can do is arm yourself and your colleagues with knowledge of the impending changes. Beyond that, those against the repeal are encouraged to get politically involved by contacting their state representative and joining movements to reinstate the principle of net neutrality.

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