Net Neutrality is a Win for Many Internet Companies

internet, public utility, Illinois Small Business AttorneyWhile many of the internet-based companies we think of today, like Google or Facebook, are now massive international businesses, they all started small. And every day new entrepreneurs are striking out on the world wide web to start new internet businesses, ranging from online merchants to those who will ultimately provide us with services most of us cannot yet imagine that will change the world, just like search engines and social media revolutionized the way we work and live. While regulations can often strangle small businesses starting out, a new set of regulations supporting net neutrality will make it easier for those start ups not only to survive, but to thrive.

What is Net Neutrality and How Will it Benefit Some Startups?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally adopted long anticipated regulations relating to net neutrality. The key part of these regulations, as reported by PC World, is that they reclassify broadband internet as a public utility, just like electricity or phone service. This means that the government will regulate broadband service more heavily than it previously has. One of the regulations will prevent service providers from offering “paid prioritization.” This is the core of net neutrality. Without this regulation, internet service providers could create a fast lane and a slow lane on the internet. While already successful massive online companies may be able to pay to have their services provided on the fast lane, small businesses would not be able to afford fast lane services. They would be stuck in the slow lane, which would severely impact their ability to compete against existing companies and attract customers accustomed to high-speed access to web services. The net neutrality regulations will prevent this from happening, which gives small businesses a chance to compete on their merits on the same internet playing field with larger companies.

Will Small Businesses be Hurt By Net Neutrality?

The most obvious type of business to be hurt by the net neutrality regulations will be the telecommunications companies directly regulated by the laws. Realistically, the companies in this field currently are already massive corporations, and the barriers to entry by any smaller competitors were already extremely high for any small business potential competitor before these regulations were created.  As such, this is not really much of a small business concern.

There is, however, a way that all small businesses may, in the long term, be negatively impacted by the FCC’s regulations. As the large telecommunications providers are required to comply with the regulations, they may use compliance as an excuse to increase consumer prices and delay the roll-out of improved services. There may also be additional taxes levied on internet services which would drive up the costs of internet services for both small businesses and their customers. However, while costs may increase, that outcome is still preferable to being driven out of business by a lack of net neutrality.

Call Gierach Law Firm

If you are a business owner dealing with the challenges of negotiating contracts with internet or other service providers, contact the skilled Illinois small business lawyers at Gierach Law Firm. You can reach us today at (630)756-1160.