Net Neutrality Ends April 23rd. Here’s What You Should Do To Prepare

Recent last-ditch efforts to block the repeal of net neutrality in the Senate have failed (be sure to hold your senators responsible if they voted against protecting net neutrality) so barring any unexpected developments, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ordered net neutrality to end on April 23, 2018. Here’s what you should do to prepare.

1) Don’t Panic

Odds are, things won’t go kaboom on April 24.

Most tech insiders expect Internet Service Providers (ISP) to target the major streaming providers (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) social media platforms, and Google with pay-to-play ransom.

All other slowdowns will likely be rolled out after that in waves.

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2) Be Proactive

Sure, you could “hope for the best and do nothing” or you could arm yourself with an effective “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” strategy. To that end, it’s important to remember that you are not helpless, the get started in that process, determine if any of your online channels are managed by third party providers or if you if self-manage. For the latter, you’ll want to confirm exactly where your responsibilities begin and end.

For example, you probably use a hosting provider for your website. Everything related to that hosting may be handled by an IT or web developer or you may be directly responsible for how well your website operates on their servers. Clarifying those responsibilities via one or more providers is exactly where you want to start.

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3) If You Use Providers: Start Communicating

Make sure your providers have a game plan and be sure to contact all of them. That includes, but is not limited to:

  • website developer
  • hosting providers
  • ticketing/Box Office provider
  • CRM provider
  • email marketing and transactional email providers
  • any third-party donation and/or ecommerce provider

Here are some questions to ask but in the end, don’t be shy about engaging in as much communication as possible in order to discover as much as you can:

  • What is your post net neutrality strategy to help mitigate any ISP slowdowns?
  • What is your implementation timeline?
  • What can we do to help improve page load speeds via content management tasks?

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4) If You Self-Manage: Get Busy

For most arts orgs and individual artists, the only platform that may fall under the self-managed category is your website. The good news is even if you think your skills are limited, there are all sorts of improvements you can put in place to improve page load speeds.

I’ve been writing a series of articles at ArtsHacker.com on how to improve performance and push back against ISP slowdowns. As of now, the first four articles in the six-part series are published and you can expect the remaining two over the next month.

ArtsHacker’s Guide To Combating Post Net Neutrality Slowdowns

Even if you believe ISP slowdowns aren’t likely, implementing these measures in part or in whole will still do all kinds of good for your website. So really, it’s all win-win.

Like all technical guides, be sure to approach any work on a staging or sandbox environment before implementing on your live site. In the end, if anything goes awry, that’s on you. If you are not comfortable with implementing any of the measures from the series, speak to a professional developer.

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About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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