The death of net neutrality will have resounding effects on companies and consumers.
Digital marketing spend will overtake that of traditional channels in the next two years, according to a ThinkVine survey of marketing executives.
With more companies relying on digital marketing, the recent changes to net neutrality that may radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers should concern marketers.
Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all Internet data and traffic equally. But in January, the federal appeals court ruled ISPs are free to make deals with companies to stream their products and services more quickly to online consumers — effectively ending net neutrality.
This week, the Federal Communications Commission announced it will propose new rules to allow companies to pay ISPs like Comcast and Verizon for these special “fast lanes” to send video and other content to their customers.
How does the death of net neutrality affect companies?
The end of net neutrality has several resounding effects on marketing:
Paying ISPs for content availability. ISPs could slow down, block or require payment for content. Companies would thus have to pay extra so their consumers can access their “premium” Internet channel.
Lost customers. If a company can’t afford to pay for access to the fast lane, their customers’ online experiences suffer. Slower Internet connections could cause customers to lose patience quickly and leave the website for a competitor’s.
The end of organic and paid search. Link building and other SEO tactics are meaningless if you can’t foot the ISP bill and your website is slow or blocked. In addition, Google AdWords will likely have to completely change its strategy, as all websites would no longer compete on the same level.
What you can do about it:
The removal of net neutrality threatens all companies and consumers. Marketers rely on articles, videos and images to educate their consumers and increase sales. In addition, consumers would no longer be using a comprehensive Internet. Websites with valuable and educational content could be blocked from their view because the company providing them couldn’t afford the ISP’s charges.
Consider supporting the activists trying to save net neutrality. Free Press offers links and contact information to sign petitions, send messages to the FCC Chairman and join the Day of Action in Washington, D.C.
This article originally appeared on the CyberAlert Blog and can be found here.
Why the Looming Death of Net Neutrality Threatens Marketers and Consumers