Will the New Net Neutrality Laws Have an Impact on Your Restaurant Business?

By Robert D’Ambrosia, Ctuit Software

Will the New Net Neutrality Laws Have an Impact on Your Restaurant Business?You’ve probably heard the term ‘net neutrality’ quite a bit, thanks to recent and proposed rulings involving the FCC and SEC.  As a restaurant owner, why should you care about changes to the workings of the Internet?  Will it affect the food service industry?  And what is net neutrality, anyway?

Stated simply, net neutrality means treating all the data traveling up and down the information superhighway equally.  Prior to the recent FCC ruling, ISPs (Internet service providers, such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon) could not slow down any kind of Internet traffic.  Over the years, the amount and type of data has changed dramatically.  What does this mean for the average user?

Let’s take an example.   If you stream a lot of videos over the Internet, you probably can set your home or business Wi-Fi router to give preference to streaming video traffic over your kids’ gaming or your computer’s downloads.  On the other hand, your ISP is prohibited from slowing down your streaming video traffic, gaming traffic, or any other kind of data.

The controversial FCC ruling would still block ISPs from slowing down any data, but it would allow companies to pay for preferential treatment of their data.  To continue our example, your router can give preference to your Netflix account, and if Netflix were to pay a premium on their data, your ISP could also prioritize it over gaming traffic, downloads, and random advertisements.

As you’re not likely to be streaming videos at work, what does this mean for your business?

On one hand, an ISP being able to give priority to traffic that is more critical to your business (credit card processing, phones, online POS orders) might better serve your business.

On the other hand, the key thing to remember is that the ISP, (not you – the customer), determines which traffic gets priority.  In theory, this could have an effect on your cloud-based business software or POS system, especially if it’s produced by a smaller company competing against a larger organization with the resources to pay for the preferential data service. Even if their product is superior, a slower internet connection can give it a sizeable disadvantage.  It could also potentially impact user experiences on other websites, especially those featuring media-rich content like videos.

The Internet is constantly changing and evolving, and this ruling may well be just one more step in its transformation.  Here at Ctuit Software, we’re continually educating ourselves about this new development and how it will impact the services we rely on.

About Ctuit Software
Ctuit Software Inc. was founded in San Rafael, California, in 2000 with a mission to develop and deliver Business Intelligence and Decision Support Infrastructure to the restaurant industry. Ctuit’s RADAR – extracts the critical data from sales, labor, and accounting that yields key intelligence upon which profitable business decisions are made. In addition, operational, financial and exception based reporting is available company-wide with the adoption of optional modules like GL Sales (financial reporting) Accounts Payable, Inventory, Recipe Management, Labor Scheduling and Event Management. With Ctuit RADAR – accounting, finance, marketing and operations departments can make changes to improve customer satisfaction, sales and margins. Ctuit Software is a private, employee owned company with its corporate office based in Novato, California. For more information, visit http://www.ctuit.com.