What Net Neutrality means to you as a business owner – and how working with a Managed Service Provider such as Magna5 helps you avoid potential rising costs

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), voted to roll back the regulations that were established in Net Neutrality.

After the news broke, a panic began over the deregulation and the idea that internet costs will skyrocket – that an open market would begin, and price wars would ensue as large internet providers raised their costs in this new “open season” of fees. Most concerning was the question of who would be affected by this change. How does this affect small business owners that rely on a network to run their business?  Are they now in the crosshairs for price increases that would significantly hit their bottom line?

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the concept that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Meaning Internet Service Providers (ISPs), can’t block or slow down the services or applications you use over an internet connection. This also blocked the idea that they couldn’t create internet “fast lanes” or “slow lanes” that force content companies like Netflix to pay an additional fee to deliver their content to customers faster.

Businesses that depend on cloud-based applications to store and run their environments are worried about the bigger effects it could have on their productivity and optimization. For example, if an organization accesses applications in the cloud and hosts them through a service provider that isn’t in a “fast lane,” will this cause a delayed response to critical enterprise applications, just like the industry could see with streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, etc.

The reality is that no provider has made any significant changes and in spite of loving to speculate, we really don’t know the impact yet. Right now – and for the foreseeable future – there are a lot of questions, theories and fiction being written about Net Neutrality (or NOT Net Neutrality as it were), but there could be big impacts to come in the future.

MSPs Protect Your Service Delivery

There’s a safety net – and it comes in the form of a Managed Service Provider. A MSP takes care of the communications and network connections a business needs to run. From telecommunications and connectivity to cloud-based services, storage and even backup and recovery, a strong MSP can provide the service without the worry.

“We own the network and the path,” explains Gary Elliott, VP Sales Enablement for Magna5. “We have long-established relationships with major, strategic partners that allows us to own the path that a business relies on for their day-to-day communication needs. We buy the services that allow you to connect – and that’s our key differentiator; it’s the value we, as an MSP, provide our customers.”

If you’re partnering with an MSP such as Magna5, you’re set – at least for the time being. Don’t forget, this is legislation and it’s going to take a long while to sort out, and that’s not to say it won’t change altogether. What an MSP can bring you, however, is the peace of mind that you don’t need to worry about Net Neutrality affecting you directly – think of the MSP as the buffer.

The main difference between a Managed Service Provider and a reseller, is the value, confidence, and steady share of the technology they deliver to their customers. By having a direct path to the network, service providers can ensure excellent quality, tools, and security for their customers to efficiently run their business properly.

“Nobody really owns the whole network, and the future on this is uncertain,” cautions Ari Gorman, Magna5 VP of Technology. “But, an MSP owns the connection from the customer to the application.We have the technology, the options and the relationships to continue to provide customers dynamic, competitive solutions – and most of all, continued service.”

Who is affected by the Net Neutrality appeal?

Organizations using providers who send their data “over-the-top” for connectivity will most likely feel the effect of the Net Neutrality appeal. “Over-the-top” (or OTT) is a term used for the delivery of content, services or applications via the public internet. OTT edge providers will deliver their content and services to customers on top of network infrastructure that is owned and maintained by ISPs. In these cases, ISPs can start to block traffic and force higher payments for delivery. Enterprises that use OTT will likely have to reconsider how they build out applications, designing them to be less data intensive and host them closer to whomever uses them the most.

What does this mean for Magna5 customers?

A Managed Service Provider will likely be affected the least by the changes of the regulatory realm because of the deep integrations with connectivity and robust technology they supply. When working with a service provider, such as Magna5, for connectivity or cloud hosting, the network path is owned, managed and delivered by the service provider itself.

“Our customers won’t get hit by additional charges or service segregation. The network won’t slow down; data won’t slow down; and, service quality won’t be changed by the Net Neutrality appeal,” Gorman says. “Magna5 customers are brought back to our network for connectivity and we give them access to a deep bench of technology – not all MSPs can say that.”

What’s Next?

As the Net Neutrality regulation rollback begins to make changes to how internet connection is delivered, it is important to talk to your strategic information technology partners. Call us. Reach out. Ask questions about how connectivity, cloud-based applications, and environments are designed and delivered to see if the Net Neutrality appeal will affect your organization. If you have any questions, or would like to speak to a representative today, contact us for more information. We’re always here to help you connect.

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