Happy Holidays from the Faces of MBB.

Unwrap your gif below!

Read MoreJust taking a quick second to wish everyone a Happy Holiday!

Net Neutrality

  

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THE DEBATE OVER NET NEUTRALITY

There's been a lot of talk lately about 'Net Neutrality'. What does it mean in a nutshell? It's the open Internet principle that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – like Verizon and Time Warner Cable – must treat data (internet traffic) equally, no matter who created the content. There has been an ongoing (and often heated) debate about the subject recently.

WHO SUPPORTS NET NEUTRALITY AND WHY?

  • A lot of big companies have banded together to support it, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, eBay, Twitter and Microsoft. These companies don't want to pay a premium to the ISPs for consumer data usage and speed on their websites.
  • President Obama recently weighed in addressing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and advocating Net Neutrality. There are also members of congress who support it.
  • Supporters argue that Net Neutrality creates a level playing field so that competition can flourish and small or start-up companies have the same chance (and speed) as established brands at delivering services and information to consumers. They don't think these decisions should be at the mercy of corporations.

WHO OPPOSES NET NEUTRALITY AND WHY?

  • The ISPs – Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Cox and AT&T. They argue that since they built the Internet wireframe, they should be able to charge fees to those vendors who want to use it (called 'paid prioritization' – like Netflix paying more so customers don't experience delays when watching their streaming videos). AT&T recently announced they are pausing plans to expand their high-speed fiber network to additional cities until the Net Neutrality issue is resolved.
  • Many members of Congress oppose it as well.
  • Opponents claim that the government shouldn't be allowed to regulate or have any oversight for telecom companies, and that if they do, then said companies won't have any incentive to invest in infrastructure to upgrade our bandwidth.

SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Ever wonder why you have a lot of options for landline phone service (which companies are surprisingly still pushing), but very limited options for cable broadband service? It's because they're classified differently. Telephone companies have open access to provide service to any household, whereas with Internet and cable you're basically stuck with the company that provides service to your area.

Now the FCC has a decision to make about whether to reclassify ISPs as "common carriers" – meaning they are mandated to provide the same service to everyone – or leave them classified as they currently are as "information services" – which means they can provide tiered pricing levels. If the FCC does decide to reclassify ISPs as "common carriers," one or more ISPs will most likely sue them. After President Obama's recent statement, the FCC has announced that they won't make a decision on this until 2015 in order to explore all of the legal ramifications. In short: we won't know for a while.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT US AS MARKETERS?

If Net Neutrality comes to an end and paid prioritizations (often called Internet 'fast lanes') become the norm, it will be harder for businesses that aren't paying premiums to market services to consumers. If your business doesn't have the deep pockets that, say, Amazon has, your customers may lose patience with the lack of speed your site provides and choose to get their services/information from a larger competitor.

OUR TAKE: WHAT'S THE REAL ISSUE?

  • At the end of the day it isn't just about business, but what our online experience as consumers will begin to look and feel like going forward. For example, if we have only one provider to choose from and large companies can afford to 'pay to play', the ISP you're using will have the ability to filter all ideas and information on the Web. This means they could potentially remove content they don't approve of. Unlimited access/unrestricted availability to information (all info, not just what the provider supports) is something that all of us, as consumers, should consider in this debate.
  • Lack of competition definitely plays a big role in this discussion. There are a very small number of ISPs which control the Internet pipes, and that number is only shrinking given the possible merger of Comcast & Time Warner. These companies are very large and becoming more powerful – they're monopolies with few competitors. It's worth noting that in the U.S. 96 percent of the population has access to two or fewer cable broadband providers.
  • Our online experience greatly differs from other parts of the world. Our Internet service in the states isn't considered high-speed anymore when you compare it to many other countries. For example, in France their internet is 50 times faster than ours (at half the price). The U.S.-based ISPs aren't upgrading their networks on a regular basis, providing better customer service or keeping their costs in check due to lack of competition.



Pumpkin Patches and Little MBBers.

This is how we know Fall has arrived.

Read MoreKids in pumpkin patches, dogs in costumes - parents of all kinds love this time of year. And although all we can focus on are the Royals this October, we had to show off a few pics of some mini MBBers doing what kids do … entertaining the adults!

Come on, does a kid get happier than the little man below?

Happy Fall everyone!

Boss Dynasty

Celebrating Boss's Day with a few beards.

Read MoreYesterday we celebrated boss's day in the only way we know how: with PBR and some killer creative. That's right, look close because those are our bosses under the beards!

Shan and Uncle Si have an uncanny resemblance!

Jim Brown Named Next Gen Leader

The Kansas City Business Journal recognizes Jim as a 2014 Next Gen Leader

Read MoreAround here, we experience Jim's leadership everyday. His expertise and guidance are hugely helpful in a variety of ways ... especially when he weighs in on reality TV and inner-office gossip! The KCBJ recognized it as well and decided to add Jim to their 2014 Next Gen Leaders Class.

Congrats Jim - it's well deserved!