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What Does an 'Open Internet' Mean for Advertising?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Long live Net Neutrality! At least for now.

In case you missed it, a federal appeals court claimed that the FCC overstepped its boundaries when establishing what we know as "Net Neutrality" because the agency does not deem Internet service providers (ISPs) as common carriers (telephone companies) and therefore ISPs have every right to pick and choose how the Internet is shared amongst the public.

An Open Internet. What an ironic phrase, we think.

At least for now. For most people, no one really knows what this ruling will do to the Internet. The fact that ISPs can share the Internet, its speed and accessibility, with partners, at any speed they wish? This could get very interesting.

But instead of breaking down all the variables with this interesting ruling, the question stands: what does an open Internet mean for advertising?

A lot.

Internet advertising has been used for several things, but more notably it has been used for gatekeeping, meaning users cannot access certain materials until they watch a certain amount of ads.

Gatekeeping could get a lot more expensive. Content just increased in value. Perhaps digital publication houses could even strike deals with ISPs and figure out ways to increase revenue.

It could be a very good thing for AdLand, if as long as this ruling stands we as an industry do this the right way.

Maybe "a" right way is better. We're sure there will be more than one way to make this successful.

First, set people's minds at ease. Then, show them the benefits of an "Open Internet." Then introduce the free stuff. Once they're hooked (as always, a good product should trump marketing) then exclaim how consumers can benefit more with whatever paid model there may be.

Do we know if there'll be one? In short, yes. Who will be the face in paying? That remains to be seen.

Yes, we will see how open the Internet will prove to be.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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