May 8, 2014 Blane Warrene

Does Net Neutrality Impact Financial Advisors? Yes…

In this new episode of The Digital Well podcast I explore net neutrality and how it impacts financial services. While it is a volatile economic and political issue, there are some fundamental risks as outcomes for any vertical industry. There are also a myriad of components of the issue that would take many hours to define – however in 10 minutes I discuss concerns for our industry.

Net Neutrality and Financial Services?

The phrase net neutrality was introduced by Tim Wu, a Columbia Law Professor, eleven years ago. However the discussion has been going on for quite a while. It really hit the mainstream attention span in recent weeks with the Netflix-Comcast deal for premium handling of their video streaming, and subsequently a proposal from the FCC to allow these types of deals to become the norm. In essence, borrowing from an already popular analogy, creating a high speed toll lane on the Internet for those willing to pay.

Unfortunately, this toll lane runs some risks:

  • This new environment driven by privilege based upon pay-to-play runs the risk of corruption, back-scratching and other unseemly issues.
  • There is no regulatory or legislative mandate that once ISPs have highly profitable speed lanes, that they invest in the slow lanes for those who cannot afford to pay. And take note, this does not just mean impoverished users. This means vertical vendors in financial services, who if they find the slow lane performance degrading, and do not have the deep pockets of Netflix, Salesforce and others to invest a premium to change lanes, may see a decrease in their performance.
  • Long term effect – the end user will subsidize through price increases from vendors they use who cannot afford to get in the fast lane.
  • In my view, the Internet itself is a utility and more than a business tool. It is a global communications framework that connects families (a la Skype and instant messaging), non-profits and non-governmental organizations and more. This fabric weaves into our personal and business lives and powers nearly everything we do now.

Also see:

Net Neutrality defined by Wikipedia – & the Oxford dictionary definition.

Other concerns, such as ISP’s purposefully downgrading performance to land premium contracts, via The Verge.

FCC proposal and opportunities to comment


Blane Warrene

Recognized as an industry leader in financial services business development and technology, Blane has worked in progressive roles in operations, technology and compliance in the industry. He co-founded Arkovi Social Media Archiving in 2009 with Carl Cline and Tyson Lowery - successfully raising capital and delivering a modern software as a service solution for business use of social media. Blane also co-founded QuonWarrene with Neal Quon in 2009. In October 2012 Arkovi was acquired by RegEd. Blane continues to advise companies via QuonWarrene. In addition, Blane is a sought-after speaker and panelist at industry and corporate conferences where he brings a fresh and innovative approach to business issues. An avid blogger and well known on twitter, @blano, he is actively engaged in social media providing thought leadership in compliant communications. Blane serves as a board member for the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, an Ohio national historic landmark.