Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Net Neutrality: What is it and why is it such a big deal?

business optimization, CRM, CRM consulting, crm miami, crm optimization, Lead management, marketing, net neutrality, salesforce, Salesforce consulting, Salesforce News, salesforce optimization,
Source: huffingtonpost.com
At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting and customization company, our business relies strongly on the speed with which crucial data can travel from the cloud to our customers. As such the issue of net neutrality is very important and one we're monitoring closely. Over the course of this week we will be presenting two blog posts on the issue that will cover what net neutrality is, why it's actually a pretty big deal, and finally, how it will affect businesses both big and small.

Net neutrality is quite the hot button issue these days. For many the internet is considered the last bastion of the free economy so many attribute to the U.S., and for many it is an important componet of what people call the "open internet", or an internet where third parties do not interfere with how business is conducted. The FCC's own definition of the open internet is as follows:
"The "Open Internet" is the Internet as we know it. It's open because it uses free, publicly available standards that anyone can access and build to, and it treats all traffic that flows across the network in roughly the same way. The principle of the Open Internet is sometimes referred to as "net neutrality." Under this principle, consumers can make their own choices about what applications and services to use and are free to decide what lawful content they want to access, create, or share with others. This openness promotes competition and enables investment and innovation.
The Open Internet also makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to easily launch innovative applications and services, revolutionizing the way people communicate, participate, create, and do business—think of email, blogs, voice and video conferencing, streaming video, and online shopping. Once you're online, you don't have to ask permission or pay tolls to broadband providers to reach others on the network. If you develop an innovative new website, you don't have to get permission to share it with the world."
In summation, net neutrality means that everything that is put up on the World Wide Web gets the same treatment from service providers no matter its origin. Online content from a small start-up gets from point A to point B with the same speed as content from giant corporations like Google or Yahoo!. Net neutrality lays out a level playing field that is not necessarily present in the physical business world and lets fledgling companies challenge established ones for customers. But big internet service providers are trying to change that following the huge increase in popularity of streaming services like Netflix.

business optimization, CRM, CRM consulting, crm miami, crm optimization, Lead management, marketing, net neutrality, salesforce, Salesforce consulting, Salesforce News, salesforce optimization,
Credit: innlink.com

Some service providers like Verizon and Comcast have spent millions lobbying Congress for the right to create a tier-system in which they charge companies for higher bandwidth speeds while non-payers are possibly subjected to throttling. That would become a huge roadblock for small companies to get their content to current or potential customers as the costs to be on the faster tier will likely range in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.

business optimization, CRM, CRM consulting, crm miami, crm optimization, Lead management, marketing, net neutrality, salesforce, Salesforce consulting, Salesforce News, salesforce optimization,
Source: Mother Jones

business optimization, CRM, CRM consulting, crm miami, crm optimization, Lead management, marketing, net neutrality, salesforce, Salesforce consulting, Salesforce News, salesforce optimization,
Source: Mother Jones

Below is a great video from comedian John Oliver's HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. While it is a political satire segment it provides a very succinct explanation of the issue.


Come back next week for the second installment of SkyPlanner's series on net neutrality. Friday's post will cover how the possible tier-system may affect your business, and whether businesses should favor or oppose net neutrality. And remember to share your thoughts on this issue, or any other issue, in the comments!

Sources:
1. Leung, Stuart. "What Is Net Neutrality? What Businesses Need to Know." Blog. Salesforce.com, 22 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014.
2. "Open Internet | FCC.gov." Open Internet | FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014.