How Net Neutrality May Affect Small Businesses | Exults
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    March 17, 2018 by Lindsey Smith

    net neutralityNet neutrality is a simple concept: internet service providers can’t favor certain websites based on who owns the site or content. This is key to small-business owners, who rely on local SEO and geotargeting to stand out from national chains and global competitors who would otherwise dominate the internet. So, what will happen if current net neutrality laws are repealed, and how will it affect small businesses?

    Prioritizing Corporate Interests Over Small Businesses

    Without net neutrality, service providers could adjust their speeds based on which sites a user accesses. They could also lock better speeds behind additional fees and services. A large corporation may have no problem paying for better online service, whereas a small-business owner may not be able to cover this additional overhead expense. This means that users will experience long load times and other service problems whenever they try to do business online with a local enterprise.

    Internet Data and Speed Goes to the Highest Bidder — Or to Private Interests

    Current net neutrality laws prohibit service providers from throttling internet speeds so that consumers will have poor experiences on certain websites. As an example, Comcast and AT&T — two leading internet service providers — own portions of Hulu. Without net neutrality laws, these companies could decrease streaming quality on competing services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    Though small-business owners don’t offer TV and video streaming services, this problem extends to all other industries. Local news services, for example, may be edged out by sources such as MSN, CNN, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Vox Media, which are also owned by internet service providers.

     

    Adjustments to net neutrality laws are still playing out, but users and small-business owners are concerned. You can safeguard your business by being proactive about search engine optimization and effective marketing. Work with a digital marketing agency to prioritize your marketing efforts now and help your business stay afloat online as the net neutrality issue develops.

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