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Newsletter Issue #649: The Other Side of Net Neutrality

The topic of net neutrality is surprisingly divisive. At its core, it means that your ISP shouldn’t be allowed to prioritize traffic on their Internet pipes to favor big companies who pay for special access. All Internet content should be available on an equal basis to subscribers to those services. That was the dream of the creators of the Internet.

Certainly, the benefits of net neutrality are clear. If a big content provider or merchandiser can just pay off the ISP, it means that their sites will load faster. If they load faster, they will get more of your business. Surveys demonstrate that, even if a site is just a few tenths of a second slower, that alone can mean lost business, because impatient customers will simply go elsewhere. This is one of the reasons, by the way, that we’ve signed up with CloudFlare, a content distribution service, so we can take advantage of the power of their worldwide server network and play with the big boys.

While net neutrality seems so simple and logical, it is also a political football. Some opponents of net neutrality want you to believe that it’s some sort of crafty scheme to allow a government, particularly in the U.S., to somehow control the Internet. I won’t attempt to explain how they came to such a silly conclusion, because it just doesn’t make any sense.

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