Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On Net Neutrality.

I watched this video, from gammill (on twitter), and while it is sensationalized, it explains fairly well what net neutrality is about and what the stakes are.

What the video says

Basically it says that if net neutrality is defeated, the telecommunication companies will eliminate nearly all non-corporation-produced content from the internet. What is this content? Web sites, blogs, videos, podcasts, social networks. Essentially, they want the internet to become their exclusive content-delivery network.

Independent content provider: DIE!

My take on the message behind the message? As long as people can find free stuff on the web, people won't want to pay for content from the big media providers. So their idea is to eliminate all content that is not theirs by requiring all web sites to pay large fees to gain access to dedicated bandwidth.

For example: you have a simple web site. Your bandwidth upload speed need is, on average, 50 Kb/s (kilobits per second). That's not a lot. Now imagine that your internet service provider says that in order to go over AT&T-owned continental backbone, from your datacenter in Dallas, Texas, to Los Angeles, they provide 1.5 Kb/s at the standard rate, the next 30Kb/s at $0.03 per Kb/s and anything above that at $0.05 per Kb/s. The next month, your little web site gets a bill for $38,960 for continental backbone useage, and you decide: "Hell, ain't worth it" and you shut it down.

Sounds far fetched?

The numbers may not add up (these were pulled right out of the ether) but that's essentially what the deal will be.


Now, you might think: I want video to work well on the web and I don't care how it happens, I'll just trust the media company. You want video? Get a Netflix account. Here's a sign up link for you. Go stream the 12,000 titles they have available, and spend the rest of you life on the couch.

Don't be a victims of marketing

See, the internet is already capable of delivering video straight to your TV. Don't be fooled by the telecommunication companies. Their marketing departments hire people with degrees from fancy universities in order to create specially-crafted messages to trick and confuse you into thinking that it is in your best interest to give them more money. Think about that. They pay people to trick you. Is that who you want to trust? No wonder they're rich and you're not.


Phone calls? Get skype. Or get Time Warner (substitute your cable company's offering) digital phone service. I just got that at home and it works great. Oh, what's that? It works "Just Fine" over the regular internet.

Geeky Stuff

Finally... Some people do work with the internet. Are you a system administrator who remotes into computers across the net? Do you ssh into your *nix boxen across the planet (and beyond)? Do you use GotoMyPC, webex, or even copilot? Get ready for the "Enhanced Service Delivery Fee" coming to you from your friendly local telco.

What you can do

In the grand sceme of things, not much. Just be find out how your elected representatives feel about this issue and vote against them in the next election if what they do is not what you want them to do. That's the way it works in this country.

Oh, wait, how will you find out what they are doing with your money unless there is solid, independent reporting out there?

Remember: Don't be a victim of marketing.


artbuilders said...

Interesting stuff. Thx for the heads up.

Christopher said...

@artb: you're welcome.

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