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No Neutral Net

net neutrality graphic

In a controversial ruling on December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the Net Neutrality laws in place since 2015. While the implications for consumers are more apparent, businesses may also feel tangible effects.

What did the net neutrality regulations previously do?

The net neutrality laws were previously enacted to ensure Internet service providers would treat all Web traffic the same. This was to guarantee that no Internet content was given priority over another.

How did net neutrality benefit businesses?

Net neutrality allowed small businesses to compete effectively with larger corporations, since their Web content was judged on the same criteria and was delivered to consumers with the same level of priority.

How are businesses affected now that net neutrality is repealed?

The true effects are likely to be felt in the repealment's advertising and marketing implications.

Now, with no neutrality regulations in place, the way is paved for Internet service providers to upcharge both businesses and consumers. Since a small business cannot afford the same budget as a large corporation could, it's possible that large corporations will purchase better Internet delivery. This would help their services and content reach consumers faster and more effectively.

Joshua Lowcock of UM Worldwide cites concerns about viewabilty metrics standards, saying, “It's going to fundamentally change the way (marketers) can approach digital media, the ROI they can extract for it and even what partners they should be looking to and considering,” reports Adweek.

Though any tangible changes are not expected to take effect until February, several advocacy groups have begun petitions and many state attorneys general have already sued for the FCC to reenact the net neutrality laws. Additionally, 50 senators have endorsed legislation to overrule the FCC's decision, just one senator shy of the 51 majority needed to do so.