Just when you thought you heard it all, Ebay owning Shopping.com, Ebay manipulating search engines, which I believe is true, now comes another issue that like it or not, will affect us all. Until now, the internet as we know it has been under the protection of “Net Neutrality”. This protection has allowed the public to view any information, website, or independent business, from a fledgling newbie, to the biggest corporate owned website, with the ability to navigate anywhere as quickly as our current service permits. That freedom will change, as the FCC, coming under pressure from corporate giants, no longer has a rule or regulation to prevent companies such as, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Bell South, Verizon and others, from charging content providers for using their internet lines, and making deals with any company they choose, that their sites and services are easier and faster to find. That also means that your favorite website may no longer be able to exist if they can’t be found, or load so slowly that you give up trying. As sellers, there are questions that need to be answered, : If Ebay must pay a fee, will that fee be passed on to the sellers? Will our store blogs become pointless if no one can see it? If other, struggling auction sites disappear from the internet, will the avalanche of new sellers on Ebay push our merchandise so far back in the listings, that sales will drop even further? Will Auctiva still be free, or will they/we have to pay too?
What can be done? I saw for the first time this week, two ad spots on TV for, “Its Our Net” , so things are heating up. Google “Net Neutrality”, and “Its Our Net“, and a few other sites will come up on this issue. At the top of the page of, Its Our Net, Click the tab that says, “How this affects you”. It is a short paragraph, then send your name to Congress from any one of the websites you choose. Send the website to everyone you know, and ask them to forward it to people they know, and so on. It’s worth noting that two students from Stanford conceived Google, and a Pez hobbyist wrote the concept for Ebay. Their dreams became a reality under Net Neutrality, because it prevents corporations that control the wires from discriminating. If you’re thinking of someday having your own website, or just keeping Ebay as affordable as possible, Net Neutrality must be saved. If these giants get their way, the internet will become a pay as you go, for everything you now enjoy free. We may have to buy internet packages from their menu, like cable TV, and which may only include one search engine, and pay even more to have another. All of this is possible and congress must stop it from happening, and congress needs to hear from us. Thanks