On December 14th, 2017, under the guidance of its chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality restrictions implemented under the Obama Administration in 2015. If you’re concerned about how this decision might affect your business, here’s a quick breakdown.
Net Neutrality and the Free Internet
Net neutrality rules were regulatory measures enacted by the FCC to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) treated all internet traffic equally. Essentially, this barred big companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from picking and choosing what sites consumers have access to and how quickly they can access them.
With the repeal of net neutrality, these giants will now have the power to create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes”—charging companies a premium to have their sites and services load faster.
They’ll also be able to block or hinder sites that compete with services they offer. For example, if one provider has its own streaming services that it’s eager to promote, it could slow down the loading speed of a competing streaming service (like Netflix) to drive consumers away from it and boost its own bottom line.
What This Means for You—and What to Do About It
As a small or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, this is a worrying turn of events. It essentially means you may have to pay more to make sure your pages don’t lag or suffer from slow load times. This could make it a lot harder to compete with bigger companies that have enviable budgets to spend.
The news may sound grim, but it’s not the end. Smart companies will just have to get a little bit smarter to overcome this hurdle. At Liqui-Site, we like to think of it as a challenge—and we’re ready to help SMBs rise to the challenge, whatever it takes.
There’s really never been a better time to reevaluate your business’s website to ensure it’s fully optimized, responsive, and enticing. If things are already running a little slower than you’d like, then imagine how much worse the problem could get if you don’t fix it now.
Your website design and digital marketing strategy will also become more important than ever. You want people to be able to find you and to be so dazzled by your site that a few extra seconds of loading time won’t prompt them to click elsewhere.
Finally, it’s incredibly worthwhile investing in a content delivery network (CDN) like Cloudflare to protect your business against slowdowns. Check out our blog post on Cloudflare to see how it can help you.
The digital marketing experts at Liqui-Site are here to help keep things running smoothly, even if the world tries to slow you down. To find out more about the services we offer, get in touch today.