What Reversed Net Neutrality Could Mean For Developers

I am sure you probably saw or heard the headline that blew up all over the news. The FCC plans to wipe out all the net neutrality rules that the previous administration put into place that would help protect individuals and businesses to keep the internet equal. Now I have been asked what this could mean for people in the marketing world. Well…truth be told I can’t see the future, but I can at most make a educated guess.

Google Ads, Bing Ads, ISP Coercion

Probably the biggest thing that I can see probably happening with clients, is you will need to plan for ISP buying similar to when you are buying ads for search engines. You might need to pay for the ability for users on certain ISP providers to be able to see your content. Imagine for a second running a news website, but lets say that competes with Time Warner’s or Comcast news site. So in order for it be viewable on their networks you would need to pay them to allow it to show up in search. In other words you would have to essentially pay them. Now buying Ads, or Bing Ads are a optional thing, kind of like facebook or twitter marketing. But what if something wasn’t optional but something you had to think about putting into a budget for a client.

System Shock

One of the biggest ways to see what would happen to a country without Net Neutrality is take a look at Portugal. Business Insider┬ádid a great article about what it looks like and how it can really impact many companies both big and small. For example what would happen if you built a social media platform that was the new facebook? What if facebook didn’t like that and decided to pay ISP’s to limit or null your spread across their networks. Or even a new app that is exploding and what if it didn’t fall under a category for an ISP and they would charge customers extra for that. This would be something all companies would need to consider, big and small. This could cause a bidding war to keep each other off the opponents network.

The Ocean Becomes a Puddle

Now how could this really hurt developers? Well to put it simply, most of the websites are built on an idea. That idea that someone wants to create something, they seek out a developer. They build it, and thus you put it out into the world. Now what happens if you had to pay to be on each network. This would probably turn a lot of people away, having a massive paywall to entry. Sometimes people learn on their own, build a website and put out their creation to the web. But what if you needed a few extra thousand set aside each year to just stay visible on each of the many networks? This could hamper creativity, desire and business. Business for developers, especially freelancers would dry up especially when a new small business starting out can’t afford a website.

Also this would affect marketing companies as well, even if you decide to move from freelance to another company. This could hamper marketing companies and their abilities since this would limit their businesses if they work in a certain area. When you think about it, if America became a fractured market would global businesses look to expand to the USA? Would marketing companies even consider hiring other developers if no one wants to pay for a website?

In Closing…

This could just be some of the small things that could happen if Net Neutrality is repealed and we allow corporations to run the show. This could hurt developers and marketing companies even if they consider many other factors. Also it would probably leave some people like “WTF” when they see the proposal for a website since it will need to include the cost of having to pay to be on certain networks. If this does get you mad, make sure you get involved, call your reps, call the FCC and stay informed.

see you space cowboy…

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James PondJonas LeupeEvan Kirby

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