Net neutrality. You’ve heard the term, but what does it mean for your business?
Early in 2014, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rulemaking to protect and promote the open internet (commonly referred to as ‘Net Neutrality’). The FCC’s proposal considers the option of allowing broadband companies to open “fast lanes.” Content providers would purchase priority access to the network and would be able to deliver content faster than other services that haven’t purchased priority access. In effect, all other bandwidth is in the “slow” lane. This approach raises questions about the enforcement of fast and slow lanes, and stifles innovation by allowing existing properties to buy their way into faster access.
On July 14th Ensighten submitted a public comment on the proceeding (14-28) in favor of net neutrality. Ensighten is in the business of helping Fortune 1000 companies provide better digital experiences to their tens of millions of consumers worldwide. Our customers rely on our open platform and global tag delivery network, billions of times per day. None of this would be possible if the internet were an uneven playing field. We have thrived because the internet is open to everyone.
In the FCC’s model, each home Internet service provider would have the option of providing fast-lane service, but in order to provide a consistent experience to all users, a content provider would need to pay a fee to each of these ISPs. In addition to the initial outlay, this adds ongoing overhead due to maintaining contracts with each provider. Some services may be able to subsist on the slower lanes, but even a second of extra load time can reduce customer conversions, meaning many businesses will be forced to purchase this priority service.
Under a true net neutrality model, all information would be treated equally on the wire. The ability to serve content wouldn’t be affected by others competing for the same users. In this model, the Internet behaves more like a phone service, where calls aren’t prioritized, but rather handled as they come in. The ability to serve content is still limited to the speed of the service purchased, but cannot be delayed in-transit to the user.
For Ensighten, the net neutrality model allows us to deliver our customers’ marketing technologies to their pages quickly and consistently. Knowing that our data can’t be slowed in transit allows us to state with confidence that we can provide the fastest tag delivery network for our users. In turn, our customers will benefit by knowing our tag delivery will always be as fast as possible, leading to consistent load times and page performance.
The other benefits of net neutrality apply equally to Ensighten and our customers. We’ll both save money and manpower if not forced to create agreements with multiple ISPs. Our customers and their end users will see consistent quality of access to the services they use. Based on Ensighten’s comment and the comments of the million-plus businesses and users who rely on an open Internet, we hope the FCC will see this issue the same way.
You’ve reached the end of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet but this is only the beginning. If you’re wondering where to go from here, check out these recommended next steps: