Net Neutrality regulations could impact small businesses

Published: Dec. 15, 2017 at 10:07 PM EST
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Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

(News 12 at 6 O'clock/NBC News at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- In four years of business, Flowers on Broad grew fast partly thanks to Facebook.

“But 90 percent of our advertising is done through social media Instagram, Facebook,” said the owner of Flowers on Broad, Brent Slagle.

As a small business owner Brent Slagle says it would've been hard to advertise or build a customer base.

William Hatcher, Director of Masters of Public Administration Program at AU said, “We depend so heavily on the internet for work and entertainment - it's a really big deal the changes in regulation.”

Those changes coming after the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality.

“It hurts consumers because it could be the possibility that you have an increase and premiums for certain web services, certain internet sites,” said Hatcher.

The idea behind Net Neutrality is for all internet traffic is treated equally. Critics fear that without any regulations, internet providers could create different speeds for different services making it faster for big companies willing to pay and harder for small companies to compete.

“Anything that's going to affect our bottom line will have to go. I would rather pay my employees than to pay a company,” Slagle said.

But right now, Brent says it's too early to know if or how this could affect him, “We don’t know if it will affect us at all, but if it were to come in that it does affect us, it would be something that would be seriously looked at whether it is worth our wild to keep it or lose it altogether.”