Einstein's Eyes

Over the last couple of months you may have heard some rumbling about Net Neutrality and how currently some courts, some members of the FTC, and internet providers wish to limit Net Neutrality. First let us defined Net Neutrality. According to Wikipedia Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication. Yawn. Why is that important? It is pretty simple when you understand the workings of the internet like those of us in the profession. Every start up, every boutique concepts, every website for that matter has a promise on the Internet. The playing field is level. Not in marketing. Not in brand. But in one very critical way, access. Anybody who has access to the internet has access to that website. This is important for the Internet's ability to innovate, grown, and prosper. By way of example, let's pretend it 1995 all over again. And a small little company out of San Jose, California is starting something totally different. They are starting a brand new type of website. A website where anybody can auction off anything. This website got a lot of attention and grew to a 15 Billion dollar business. You are all probably familiar with Ebay. Okay so let's remove net neutrality and see all the possible problems Ebay could have had.

  1. Service providers both Ebay's and local internet providers could have determined that auction sites need to pay a premium to use the internet. The traffic is no more or less data, but because this rule applies all cost instantly go up. Maybe ebay never makes it out of Pierre Omidyar's apartment.
  2. Sometime after the initial success Ebay purchased Paypal. What if rules governing online money processing was a premium to charge more. Again, this would vary by ebays provider and local internet providers.
  3. Again it goes public. Again what if providers decide public companies pay a premium.

Also these changes could be based on equipment, location, etc. I know some of these sound a little nuts, but have you really look at your cell phone bill. Just look at the different ways call are classified on your mobile phone bill – mobile to mobile, in plan, nights & weekends, premium, data, roaming, non network roaming, etc. This is also why cell phone bills can suddenly be very expensive. This fluctuations could kill companies and the users. What can be done? The FCC and the government to a great extent can be a morass. But they do have a mechanism for feedback on this particular issue regarding net neutrality. Please seek out the 14-28 at http://www.fcc.gov/comments to comments. Also, always be rigorous in your understanding of the boring old internet regulations.

Joe Costantino

Posted by Joe Costantino

About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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