So… for those of you who don’t know yet, the Fight for Net Neutrality is on, and has been, for a little while. But the Cable Company Lobbyists, have just stepped up their game.
Here’s a brief summary:
Net Neutrality is the state of fair and objective distribution of content across the world wide web. Internet Service Providers (or ISPs) have, up until now, had a duty to treat everybody’s content equally, and provide the same service to content providers, regardless of affiliation or money. In straightforward language, this means- if YOU are a small, online retailer, you are entitled to the same service from your internet provider, as, say, a massive corporation like Comcast.
But this may all be about to change, meaning smaller online retailers will risk not being able to provide a good enough service to your customers. This, of course, means you may lose business, and become less competitive.
The £1.5bn UK florist industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and moving online. This means that, if you run a florist in today’s UK market, the outcome of the war for Net Neutrality, may have a massive impact, on your business:
At retail level, the UK Floral industry represents £2.2bn according to the Flowers and Plants Association. In real terms, that means, each of us in the UK are spending on average, a mere £36 on flowers and plants per year. £8 of that is spent on plants.
Let’s see it from the customer’s perspective: if it takes me, the customer, 15 minutes to load the information on your site, because your server has decided to prioritize someone else’s content, I WILL get bored, and I WILL go and spend that sum of money somewhere else, or just go to Tesco and buy my flowers (though perhaps, not for much longer!).
In an increasingly rushed society, I don’t have time to wait endlessly, for your website to load on my screen. And it’s frustrating. Let’s face facts: In the grand scheme of things, to me, the customer, in that moment, flowers just aren’t that important.
That is why the issue of Net Neutrality is so important to forward thinking business owners. To find out more about the fight for Net Neutrality, check out our earlier blog, Flowers of War.
So far, the main organisation responsible for leading the fight for Net Neutrality, have managed to cause quite a stir amongst congress. Fight For the Future.org ran a mass ‘Internet Slowdown’ earlier this month, to which many, many large online retailers signed up to.
But the fight continues. FFTF report that President Obama had said, as part of his campaign promises, that he would ‘take a back seat to no-one’ with regards to Net Neutrality, and promised to make sure that the commissioners he appointed to the FCC would ‘act accordingly’ to re-instate Net Neutrality. However, we all know how hard it is, to get politicians to make good on their promises.
The Internet Slowdown shook up the cable company lobbyists, who have now reportedly been ‘tag-teaming’ both Congress and the FCC in the hopes they will not have their god-like powers to control what content we have access to, removed.
Fight For the Future are now rallying more support, and asking individuals and business owners alike, no matter what country you are based in, to petition Obama to keep his promises.
We’ll keep you updated, as promised.
If you would like to know how you and your business can get involved in the fight for Net Neutrality, or simply find out more about this important issue, check out www.fightforthefuture.org.