I have been watching the buzz about the ISP bandwidth caps and content filtering; it’s all a preamble to repression and keeping people in a particular spot and the companies retaining their business. It’s self preservation, but the Internet is the wrong place to impose like this…
Over a year ago, ISP’s [COMCAST] were basically contacting customers and saying hey if you cross this line in bandwidth use, we’re gonna shut you down. The problem was, they wouldn’t say what that line was. Droves of users contacted COMCAST and inquired, but none were successful. The ISP was working out the details then, but didn’t want to say anything.
Now if COMCAST is limiting bandwidth, with their ‘unlimited internet’ use, how do you know when your getting close to going over? Quest puts it out there, so you at least know. Since COMCAST is one of the largest providers and if they can impose their will like this, who’s to stop the smaller companies from doing the same. In some areas, people have no choice as to where they get their Internet service; mostly it’s you either have dial-up [argh] or go the local ISP bully.
If you own a cell phone, it tells you how many minutes you have left. If you drive a car, you know how much gas you have left and when companies setup guidelines like this; you know how much patients your going to have left? You don’t have a clue and the ISP says we’ll call and let you know- yeah right, as opposed to just sending you larger bill for use; like banks with NSF’s, but different. They haven’t even offered to provide any tools to find out how much your using or sent an email telling ANYONE what their average is. They seem to just want to scare the heck out off you so you will stop using the Internet.
The problem with cable Internet service is that it’s shared; it’s not solely yours. You’re sharing it with everyone in you neighborhood. Yeah this is bad, or good, if you are a hermit and your the only person with a light switch for 3 miles. But let’s just stay you’re the ‘bit torrent master of hermit land’; COMCAST is gonna slow you down baby [for 20-30 minutes]. Why?! Cause your having too much fun and you are being a bandwidth bully and not sharing with the other 60 users. With DSL/FIOS you are your own island, but the thing is while ISP’s are advertising 5-20mb download speeds, most are never going to get it. You can only get the information as fast as the provider can send it.
So a couple months ago Time Warner has started testing TIERED service in small town in Texas. Testing?! You don’t test something unless your planning on doing it. So yeah, it’s here, but you don’t hear about it yet, but it’s coming. It’s like being shot with a bullet; it’s not the ones you hear go by, it’s the ones you don’t hear that are the issue. Maybe your thinking this could be good if you’re a part time user that thinks Google is cool to find recipes, but for techies, it’s a major problem; especially if you ever visit YouTube or work from home using a VPN.
There are lot of companies out there that are banking on customers having unlimited Internet usage, video, VOIP, VOD services, but wait- if the ISP’s can control your surfing and bandwidth they’re to going to control dictate which services you’ll be allowed to use. VOIP services won’t be allowed by VONAGE because of bandwidth usage, but if you go with COMCAST on the same service; no problem. You can’t NETFLIX on demand service because of bandwidth usage, but if you go with TIME WARNER on the same service; no problem. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Access to the Internet should be global, free and unlimited. From my perspective, I see it as a natural right to have access to a information resource like the Internet. It should not have it’s content filtered based on a business model and poor network architecture.