What makes a castle? Sure, you could go on about the logistics of what makes a castle, but then you take the analogy out of everything. Lets just say that to have a castle, you need a gate.
Where else have we discussed gates?
So when we look at the crisis facing our internet system, we should also think about gates, castles, universities. Let us not forget that with castles come kings, queens, and jesters. The kings come in as the bandwidth bandits in Verizon, Comcast, and ATT, traditionally these places would have been your first choice for TV, long distance, and cell phones, but times they are-a changin.
FFWD to now, from back then, when those companies still held their traditional status. These companies realized they all own the wires, they own the fibers, they own the networks. Why on earth rent space to a company like AOL, Netscape, or MSN when you already OWN those networks, and you can hire people just as good to design platforms that work just as fast. Let’s face it… people shop at Sams Club because of the price, not because it looks pretty. Sure grandma likes starting up the internet and hearing “you’ve got mail”… but most of us don’t even like the idea of ‘starting up’ the internet. It needs to be fast, always on, and unrestricted.
That’s the problem, unrestricted doesn’t make money. Unrestricted doesn’t allow people to have control over you, The Man doesn’t like that. The Man gets what The Man wants, and The Man wants to make sure you’re not doing anything that keeps money out of The Mans pocket. This is where gatekeepers come into play. Your broadband providers are currently working on deals with congress to control your access. They want to auction off speeds to the highest bidder, and block those that cut into their profits. Is it fair? Why stop there?
“You may have missed it in the fine print of your agreement. Phone companies like Verizon and AT&T reserve the right to block your free speech and terminate your cell phone services “without prior notice and for any reason or no reason.”
Yea.. you didn’t read your TOS (terms of service) did you? You felt that freedom of speech was a given… but these are private companies, private property, and apparently they are not held to the same standards as the government.
Gatekeepers rule the web, they control what goes down the pipe, and out the floodgates into your home. Comcast cutting access to downloading for bittorent is nothing new, they’ve been cutting high bandwidth users for years. Bandwidth throttling is something that has gone on for years, but this is getting press since they singled out a website, instead of the EU (end user).
We’ll see more of this story, but only if you look for it. You have to take stand against these gatekeepers, and send them a message that you won’t allow them to control something they don’t own. They may own the pipeline, but they shouldn’t be allowed to control others content. This situation will affect all users, not just bandwidth hogs. One day you may not be able to access an independant news site, instead being directed to go to CNN.com… all because CNN paid Verizon money to be the only news provider… in fact, you may not even be able to search for topics like ‘Net Neutrality’, simply because they control the flow of information.