• Net Neutrality Pt. 2 - A Challenge to the Status Quo

    How long can the monopoly game continue?

    Cable and internet service providers have a stranglehold on the industry. This becomes painfully obvious every time that we try and find a new or cheaper provider. There isn’t one. You essentially have a choice between Comcast, AT&T, or maybe a 3rd provider if you are lucky enough. Some areas don’t even have that many choices. This lack of competition has allowed companies to be able to charge whatever they want for a subpar service with no government intrusion. However, there has been a disturbance in the business model for these giants. That disturbance is Google Fiber. Google Fiber is a new internet service that is touting speeds up to 100 times faster than the average broadband connection in the United States. Google also offers free internet to customers for a one-time $300 construction fee.

    Now before you pick up your phone to switch providers, keep in mind that Google Fiber is still in its infancy and only available to a few select areas, and Indiana is not in any current expansion plans. While Google Fiber has seemed to rattle the larger internet service providers in the areas they provide services, it is just not in enough markets to make a difference, yet. As it stands now, getting the service in your area is a bit like winning a lottery that you didn't enter.

    It will be a long time before Google Fiber is relevant to a majority of customers because of the one factor keeping Comcast and AT&T on top: The high cost to enter the industry. It takes a lot of time and money to create the infrastructure needed to provide high speed internet and cable. This barrier to entry is one reason there is no new actual competition to cable and internet providers.

    So what can you do? Write your local representative and tell them how you feel about this. It is easy, I swear!

     

    Miss the introduction to this post? Read it here.

  • What is Net Neutrality you ask?

    Neutral?

    The landscape of the web has drastically been changing over the past decade and will continue to change over the next. Not only that, but the way we are provided with those services could be receiving a major overhaul in the next year or so. As of right now, the entire web is neutral, meaning that every web page will load at an equal rate. Major internet service providers are pushing are to eliminate net neutrality.

    What this means for the us, as users, is that services like Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services might have to pay to have their websites and content load faster and have priority over other sites that don’t pay for faster speed. Companies that don't pay for faster loading will load at a baseline speed that is slower.

    Destroying net neutrality could have an instant negative impact on smaller sites that don't have the budget to pay for faster loading times. The baseline speeds these sites would have would seem unbearable in comparison to the speeds of sites paying for higher speeds.

    More for less?

    There are a few problems with major sites paying more to get faster load times. The first problem is that the cost of this will be passed on to the American consumer for something they should already have: faster internet. Any idea where the United States ranks in download speed? If you guessed that the United States is in the top twenty, you are wrong. Top thirty? Still wrong. The United States is ranked right behind Slovakia for 31st in worldwide download speed.

    The next question one would have is: How much are we paying for our 31st ranked internet speed? On average, we are paying $55.16, which is good enough for the 19th most expensive in the world. This simply shows that we are already paying more for less. Now why would they want to charge us more for slightly less?

    Read the follow up.