Why Is American Internet So Slow?
Antiquated phone networks and corporate monopolies do not produce fast Internet.
By Rick Paulas
AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner have a “natural monopoly” since they’ve simply been at it the longest. While the Telecommunications Act of 1996 attempted to incentivize competition to upset these established businesses, it didn’t take into account the near impossibility of doing so. As Howard Zinn wrote in A People’s History of the United States, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 simply “enabled the handful of corporations dominating the airwaves to expand their power further.”
Chattanooga has somewhat famously installed its own. Santa Monica also has its own fiber network. The reason these communities have been successful is because they don’t look at these networks as a luxury, but as a mode of self sustainability.
The 19th century’s ghost towns exist because the gold ran out. The 21st century’s ghost towns might materialize because the Internet never showed up.
more on Internet access in this IMS blog
Big Telecom lost in court, but an open internet won. So did you.
U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Full
Net Neutrality Won Big Today, But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet
Net Neutrality Court Decision Yields Early Winners And Losers
more on net neutrality in this blog:
5 Things To Know: Net Neutrality Is Back In Court
It’s the third time in less than a decade that the FCC’s attempts to regulate Internet access have been challenged in court.
1. The key question the court will answer is whether the FCC had proper authority to reclassify broadband Internet as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service.
2. Reclassification is at the heart of the industry’s legal challenge.
3. Another part of the new rules the court will consider will be whether mobile Internet and cable Internet should be regulated the same way.
4. Not much has changed since the rules went into effect in June.
5. Whatever this court decides, net neutrality will likely end up at the Supreme Court.
more on Net Neutrality in this blog:
The companies lobbying furiously against strong net neutrality, in one chart
Consumers generally connect to the internet one of two ways. They can subscribe to a residential broadband service from a company such as Time Warner Cable. Or they can subscribe to wireless internet access from companies such as Sprint.
These companies have spent billions of dollars laying cables in the ground (in the case of residential internet access) or erecting cell phone towers (for wireless access) to ensure that customers have fast, reliable service.
Network neutrality is the idea that these companies should treat all internet traffic equally. It says your ISP shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services, nor should it be allowed to set aside a “fast lane” that allows content favored by the ISP to load more quickly than the rest.
Since the term was coined more than a decade ago, it has been at the center of the debate over internet regulation. Congress, the Federal Communications Commission(FCC), and the courts have all debated whether and how to protect network neutrality.
Advocates argue that network neutrality lowers barriers to entry online, allowing entrepreneurs to create new companies like Google, Facebook, and Dropbox. But critics warn that regulating the broadband market could be counterproductive, discouraging investment in internet infrastructure and limiting the flexibility of ISPs themselves to innovate.
In January, an appeals court invalidated FCC regulations designed to protect network neutrality. The agency is currently considering how to respond.
QuickWire: College and Library Groups Petition FCC on Net Neutrality
Netflix is a Data Hog And other myths about Net Neutrality
Net Neutrality Just Got Sucker-Punched. Will Madison Avenue Get the Bill?
Why You Should Be Freaking Out About The End Of Net Neutrality: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/net-neutrality_n_4597831.html
Feds Can’t Enforce Net Neutrality: What This Means For You: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/14/262454310/feds-cant-enforce-net-neutrality-what-this-means-for-you?utm_content=socialflow&utm_campaign=nprfacebook&utm_source=npr&utm_medium=facebook
Internet has been the most democratic tool in the last two decades. Trough the Arab Spring, anti-Putin blogs, Erdogan’s Turkey, my home country Bulgaria: people have had a viable voice to speak, hear and share, despite government-own, Goebbels-like mass media, who thus looses the opportunity to control public opinion. .
That era is only logical to wind down. In my home country, the Murdock-like media owner, as well as ruling-parties’ apparatchiks pay “trolls” to go and muddle the blog sections under online articles and the social media field.
In the U.S., the same process takes different “democratic” way: the big companies are lobbying and buying their way of silencing the Internet right of people to be able to voice, speak and share their opinion.