Gini Dietrich

Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC

By: Gini Dietrich | December 22, 2010 | 
31

Well, the FCC has made their decision on net neutrality and we are now faced with two versions of the web. One where we are protected on our computers, but not on our phones. Which means we can gain access to anything we want if we’re using our browsers, but the wireless carriers can block apps if they want (i.e. AT&T could block Yelp or Verizon could block Facebook).

The rules are, at best, “net semi-neutrality,” according to the New York Times. The rules are bogus, according to Gini Dietrich.

I’ve been pretty outspoken about the need to maintain net neutrality for several months now. I’ve blogged about it and, when I speak, I advise business leaders to pay careful attention to the rulings. I even included it in my trends to pay attention to for 2011. If the neutrality goes away, the way we conduct business will be changed forever.

And it looks like that’s half going to happen. Sort of (nothing like trying to play both sides of the field).

Because this just came down last night, we can only speculate what this means to our businesses, but following is what we do know.

1. Internet service providers are restricted from blocking you from accessing content and wireless providers are prohibited from blocking access to voice applications that compete with their own services. This means you can still access any site from your computer and you can continue using Skype or Google Voice on your phone. But it also means if AT&T decides they don’t want to do business with Yelp, they can block your access of it on your phone.

2. The regulations do not forbid ISPs from creating varying speeds for different types of content, as long as they do so for similar content. For instance, if they decide to send videos to you more slowly, they’d have to do it for YouTube, Vimeo, and all the other sites.

3. It’s still unclear whether or not the ISPs can create a metered payment model, based on your usage. If they are allowed, there soon could be a cable-like payment model, which means you pay for your Internet use based on how much you use it (I’ll probably have to pay $10,000 a month or go to Internet rehab).

4. It’s also still unclear how paid prioritization will play out. This means a business could pay the ISP every month to deliver their content more quickly.

The last two, which are both unclear in the new rulings, are what you’ll really need to watch. If either (or both) of them go through, the web will no longer be a playing field. Small business will no longer be able to compete with big business. And the economy rebound, which is so dependent on our small businesses, could be even more slow.

What do you think this means for business?

P.S. If you’re interested in following the news on this as things change in the next few months, Google “FCC net neutrality” and click on the “follow” button (this is a new service). It will push updates to your email as often (or as little) as you like.

Thanks to Tech Republic for the image

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
JulioRVarela
JulioRVarela
5 years 9 months ago

This doesn’t surprise me that we are heading this way. Reason is that it’s all about distribution and as we all move towards a more mainstream and larger web distribution channel, traditional companies still want to make money on this. The uproar will happen when people actually start getting charged. I can’t wait for that backlash.

GrantGriffiths
GrantGriffiths
5 years 9 months ago

@JulioRVarela Anytime you get the gov’t involved in more regulation there is going to be trouble. And you are exactly right. I wonder what people are going to think when they start paying to access more and more sites. And they pay more to even access the web from everywhere.

The internet was working just fine as it was. There was completely no need for this type of new regulation to happen.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@GrantGriffiths @JulioRVarela I’m actually really stressed about what happens if we have to pay for it. ALL of our clients have gigantic web presence and having to have them pay for prioritization makes me a little nauseous. And Grant…totally agree there was no reason for the government to get involved. At all.

JohnMorgan
5 years 9 months ago
Very good post! It’s nice to see someone write about FCC items in a way anyone can understand. As a branding consultant for both small businesses and extremely large businesses this is very frightening. The idea that a business can ‘buy’ exposure is a step backwards. All of this is yet another reminder that small businesses cannot afford to neglect offline marketing methods. A good marketing plan isn’t reliant on one single medium (ie. the internet) On the issue of changing the way we pay for the internet, this is just crazy. Again, a big step in the wrong direction.… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@JohnMorgan “A good marketing plan isn’t reliant on one single medium.” Bravo! If Congress gets a hold of this, it could change back, so I’m keeping up-to-date on the latest. Otherwise I’ll plan to see you at rehab!

pacebutlercorp
pacebutlercorp
5 years 9 months ago

Great stuff again Gini. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@pacebutlercorp I’m obsessed so I’ll keep you updated!

nateriggs
nateriggs
5 years 9 months ago

Good insights on this Gini. Makes you wonder though, how many people will simply access wifi through their mobile device? Can say, AT&T block access to apps you can use off of an ISP. I access the wifi in my office every single day from my EVO. Seems like the FCC is going to back themselves into a corner on this one…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@nateriggs Actually, that’s a great point. There are savvy people like us that will figure out how to game the system. But it’ll be difficult to say to clients, “Don’t worry about it. People can still access your app if they use WiFi.” That’s what I’m really stressing about.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm
5 years 9 months ago

Gini, I’ll be joining you and JohnMorgan in the Internetz Anonymous rehab for sure.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@3HatsComm Oh good! All my friends will be there!

3HatsComm
3HatsComm
5 years 9 months ago

@ginidietrich @GrantGriffiths @JulioRVarela The reason for government to get involved was to make sure this did not happen, to keep the playing field level, to protect commerce and small business, to make sure that those in power controlling the gates cannot manipulate the Internet to their own agendas. Alas, FAIL and Despair has it right: http://www.despair.com/government.html

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
5 years 9 months ago
This is a really really really messy situation. You won’t have a good answer from me. But I can give you some thoughts that will make you think. Since I am the resident Finance person besides @Megan , well she does real finance I just have a degree in it. But I do great punditry and analysis! The investment to create any network is immense. In my opinion if taxpayers are not paying for part of this investment (we might be I don’t know) we don’t own it. Someone else does. And if they are not allowed to invest their… Read more »
jennalanger
5 years 9 months ago

@3HatsComm @ginidietrich @GrantGriffiths @JulioRVarela There were a few quotes along the lines of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” But I disagree with that. Without regulation, the ISPs can start limiting what sites we have access to, slow down Google, or do whatever they want with our Internet connection. I’m definitely not happy with what the FCC has done so far, but this issues needs to be brought up before the telcos start screwing everyone over.

jennalanger
5 years 9 months ago
Net neutrality is a huge issues, and what scares me is that the general public doesn’t understand the implications of it all. Heck, I actually have a different view and idea of what’s going on than you do, and we’re both in the field! My take aways from the ruling were this (I listen to the buzzoutloud podcast that gives great insight):– ISPs can’t make a site pay extra money to get their site to load faster.– Mobile isn’t really touched yet – which is a very scary thought.– Tiered pricing could still be allowed. Hello digital divide! Now you… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@jennalanger We were just talking about this internally and how a President who is one of the most socialist we’ve had maybe ever is supporting change that creates opportunity for big business. And then we digressed into where he’s getting his campaign dollars. But what you’ve outlined in your last three points is what’s really scary to me. No more David beating Goliath. No more equality. No more lean and mean machines winning the prize. I’m really concerned.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@HowieSPM I can definitely be convinced to see the big business reasons for this, and you make a couple of really great points, but I see this only from my perspective…which is three-fold; as a business owner, as a consumer, and as an advisor to small and medium sized businesses. And from those three lenses, this seems very, very bad.

Now back to your non-reality friends.

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by l.s-maine. l.s-maine said: a basic primer . . Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC | Spin Sucks http://t.co/knlOxFv (via @johnfurnari ) […]

meursault
meursault
5 years 9 months ago
I’ve been following the net-neutrality story informally for the past month or so, and honestly, although I like to think I pretty good at analyzing these legal chess games, this one really has me baffled no matter how much I read about it. Perhaps Gini or her readers could help me at least on a couple points. Everyone who speaks in favor of the FCC’s new regulations speak in platitudes about how the FCC is now protecting the freedom and openness of the internet and saving us from unpredictable service providers. But, having used the internet for over a decade,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 9 months ago

@meursault I don’t think it is protecting us from threats. I read it as taking away our accessibility, but things could change with a new Congress. As for the paid prioritization and other stuff, it’s now being allowed because of the new regulations. We’ll see what happens after the first of the year. We’ll keep reading and watching and let you know what happens.

CPA_mom (Michelle Edwards)
5 years 9 months ago

Bad news for small businesses? Curious to see how this pans out… – Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC http://bit.ly/fbKjEY

EntrepreneursNW (entrepreneursnw)

RT @CPA_mom: Bad news for small businesses? Curious to see how this pans out… – Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC http://bit.ly/fbKjEY

scheumanncpa (David Scheumann)
5 years 9 months ago

Keep Net a level playing field! RT @CPA_mom: Bad news for small businesses? Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from FCC http://bit.ly/fbKjEY

OmegaCourse (Craig Holme)
5 years 9 months ago

RT @CPA_mom: Bad news for small businesses? Curious to see how this pans out… – Net Semi-Neutrality: New Rules from the FCC http://bit.ly/fbKjEY

bigteethvideo
bigteethvideo
5 years 8 months ago

I’ve been freaking out about this issue too. Once again our government sides with lining their congressional war chests rather than obvious no-brainer to keep the Internet open for all of us to use.

Here’s a good site to keep up on people fighting for ACTUAL Net Neutrality: http://www.freepress.net/

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 8 months ago

@bigteethvideo I feel like there are only a handful of us freaking out about this. I don’t get why people aren’t more concerned!

trackback

[…] The recent decision from the FFC on net neutrality means the way you use the web, and the way you develop apps for smart phones, could change as early […]

trackback

[…] complicate matters a little bit, the FCC recent decision on net neutrality affects how we may or may not, as consumers, be protected from the wireless companies on our […]

trackback

[…] recent decision from the FFC on net neutrality means the way you use the web, and the way you develop apps for smart phones, could change as early […]

trackback

[…] complicate matters a little bit, the FCC recent decision on net neutrality affects how we may or may not, as consumers, be protected from the wireless companies on our […]

trackback

[…] The recent decision from the FFC on net neutrality means the way you use the Web, and the way you develop apps for smartphones, could change as early […]

wpDiscuz
10 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
+1
Pin
Email
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]