On April 23, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of net neutrality rules begins.
According to a Paychex Small Business Survey conducted by Paychex, a provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services, 44 percent of small business owners feel repealing net neutrality rules that are currently in place will negatively impact their business website, and the same number, 44 percent, are not sure how the repeal will impact their business.
Since 2015, net neutrality rules have required Internet service providers to enable the same level of access to all content applications regardless of the source. Providers could not favor or block particular products or websites based on online clout or level of brand awareness. As a result of the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality, Internet service providers can now factor these website traits into speed and quality of service, potentially impacting user experience for visitors to a business’s website. According to the Paychex survey, only 12 percent of small business owners think the decision to repeal net neutrality will positively impact their business. Additionally, 44 percent of respondents are not sure how the repeal will affect their business, perhaps underscoring a lack of understanding on the topic of net neutrality altogether.
“The repeal of net neutrality adds yet one more worry to business owners’ minds, and while they can personally commit to optimizing their websites, they may still fall short in competing with the high brand awareness of larger online businesses,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Regardless of how they feel about a repeal of net neutrality rules, business owners should brace for the potential impacts this policy change may have on their business’ online presence.”
The Paychex study also revealed that 59 percent of small business owners think repealing net neutrality will mean less traffic to their business’ websites because Internet service providers will favor large corporations over their small businesses. Additionally, a quarter of respondents (25 percent) are not yet sure how the repeal of net neutrality will impact their business’ web traffic.
Business owners should keep informed on these policy changes, as some components of the net neutrality repeal may legally take effect after April 23, upon approval by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition to federal policy changes, some state and local legislators are considering moving forward with net neutrality laws within their own jurisdictions. Several pending lawsuits may also potentially hinder the repeal, depending on the outcomes.
To learn more about the Paychex survey and what business owners need to know about the net neutrality repeal, visit payx.me/netneutrality.
About the Paychex Small Business Snapshot
Data included in the Paychex Small Business Snapshot was taken from the results of the Paychex Small Business Survey. The survey was conducted online between January 22, 2018 and March 12, 2018 and polled 522 principals of U.S. companies.