How the New FCC Internet Rules Impact Your Business

In light of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent legislative win, the worry that Internet service providers could put a choke hold or slow hold on Web content is for now, in the past. As this Wall Street Journey article points out, the net-neutrality rules, which apply to both mobile and fixed broadband, prohibit providers from "blocking, slowing down or speeding up access to specific websites." What does this mean to businesses and consumers?

The ruling enforces the fact that we, as businesses and consumers, are empowered to experience our Internet content as it is intended. Further, providers of Internet access to businesses and consumers cannot block, hinder access to, or alter the speed and through-put to any specific website or content provider, even if they are offered payment or incentive. Likewise, any Internet service provider that steps outside the line is breaking the law.

Who's Affected

The new FCC rule is a win for anyone who uses the Web for things like streaming movies or purchasing services, as well as for those who provide the content and services. The ruling levels the competitive landscape and all service providers; cable companies, telecom companies, and wireless carriers are included. But don't expect all Internet service providers to take their medicine easily. For those providers that object to the rule, the fight wages on and we can expect court appeals.

However, for businesses and customers, the benefit is far reaching. The ruling means it is not legal to impose arbitrary/selective fees or additional costs for accessing any specific website. For those companies that provide the actual content and services via the internet, the ruling means they are protected against having their service marginalized by higher fees, or having their customers experience restricted visibility. The new FCC net-neutrality rules are designed to keep the Internet's free market intact. Contact us to learn more about the ways in which the ruling may help your business lower costs and boost profitability.

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