Maybe some of your have heard the term lately of “net neutrality“. It’s been in the news recently and there is currently a motion with the FCC to lift it. That’s not a good idea. Net neutrality means all information on the internet is equal. If my website does well, I can supplant bigger websites. However, large telecomm companies, such as AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable, want to take that away. Rather than have a level playing field, they want to introduce “express lanes” on the internet. Those companies that can afford it, pay to have their web content delivered faster. Those that cannot afford it, well they are stuck with slow speeds, and potentially censorship and blocking. Not only will ending net neutrality will have large ramifications for the entire internet, it will especially affect small businesses such as myself.
What Ending Net Neutrality Means for SEO
Ending net neutrality will have the biggest impact on my business here. One of the services I offer is helping people optimize their websites for search engines. I help people deliver their content to their customers by having a great website. Should net neutrality end, and my clients can’t afford “express lane” internet, their website content may not reach their target audience. Those that are in the “slow lane” of the internet are at the mercy of the internet service providers (ISPs). Under the new rules, ISPs will be able to freely censor, block, or slow down content according to what you are paying. Not only will I have difficulty helping my customers rank on search engines, but I’ll also have to help them create content in a more conscientious manner so they aren’t blocked.
What Ending Net Neutrality Means for Content Development
Another one of my services is content development. This is done through copywriting and editing. Companies hire me to come up with landing pages, blog posts, social media posts, and pretty much any other online content. If I have to worry about content that may be blocked because my client’s ISP doesn’t like it, I may not be hired in the first place. This is particularly troublesome if my client is creating a website for the first time. If they can’t pay-to-play in the “fast lane” of the internet, they have an uphill battle. Especially if they are bloggers or non-profit organizations. Ending net neutrality is a form of suppression of free speech.
A Troubling Issue For Everyone
I’m not alone in being affected by the possible end of net neutrality. This proposed plan is such a bad idea even large tech companies who could benefit from this are joining the fight to save net neutrality. Companies such as Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, and Vimeo. Examples of other brands that have joined in are Etsy, Kickstarter, Reddit, Mozilla, Airbnb, and Dropbox. This isn’t a niche issue that only the social warriors should care about. This will affect everyone.
July 12th was the initial submission deadline for submission of comments to the FCC. However, they are holding comments open till August 12th. The FCC website already has 10 million+ filings on the topic, most of which are in favor of strong net neutrality. You can go to Battle for the Net website and use their form to send a letter to your local Congress members and the FCC. It’s quick and easy because they have already typed out a letter for you. I’ve done it and I encourage you to do the same. Together we can make our voices heard and keep the internet, creativity, and innovation open to everyone.