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March 10th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Sorry to start this blog with such profanity in the title.  I normally don’t work blue.  Want more profanity?  Republicans!  Democrats!  Federal Employees.

This is about the Internet.  Well, it is about Net Neutrality and being only about the net is a lie.   That’s the buzz word for what has driven the Internet up to this point.

When, I started using the Internet it was with a “shell account” that was like a DOS (actually Unix) prompt.  It was entirely text.  This was before the fiber rollout.  My usage was easily handled by the dialup modem of the day.  Today is a whole other world.  Graphics abound.  Large downloads happen for our various interest.  That new update that ever online site rolls out almost weekly is a smaller example.  If you’ve watched the ads you saw the girl get off the subway while watching streaming video which is a big example.

Time has change the playing field.  Few of those changes were anticipated.  Two types of entities are most concerned. This would be companies like Verizon who’s data streaming isn’t able to meet such demand and various cable providers who’s distributed network can get choked by peak operation.  Their option is to spend big bucks or to choke their customers.  Guess what the popular choice is in corporate land?

In short the FCC stretched a bit and said NO!  Yesterday, the House said they didn’t have the authority and are voting to quash the FCC.   Yeah, the unsightly side of the fund raising and whatever is that they do favor business.  Sometimes that is good; other times it isn’t.   This seems to fall in with the latter.

Changes has hit the Internet.  From my text mode days to watching YouTube videos, the need for more bandwidth has strained many a business plan.  But, it has also given us an environment we never envisioned and we like it. Today’s cost are something we live with.  We live with similar charges each month.  Cell phones and cable or satellite are also livable amounts on their face.   When combined, the total becomes a bit more and with so many living with limited disposable income, that might be money that doesn’t make it to a savings plan.

The heat today is on jobs and underwater mortgages.  It is what politicians call talking points.  But they continue to sweep systemic problems under the rug.  So, when you are young and working and “getting by” it all seems ok.  A little rise in this bill or that seems annoying but low impact overall.

I am getting by in retirement more by luck than sense.  Without Social Security, it’d be a bear.  Envy me people.   And start a real saving plan.  The older you get the more that has to be.  With inflation and suspect government programs,  you just may be your only real resource.

Yes,  net neutrality is one of those things that looks like it might impact us in some seemingly small way.  But, all these seemingly small changes have long term consequences.  Think about these things.  Politicians, including supposed conservative, are never going to do that for you.

Oh, and write to your Senator.   It looks like the House will pass it and that is the only blocking point.

ADDENDUM:

I was one of the first to sign up for cable.  I remember the amount:  $4.50/mo.  I had a cell phone early on and that was around $20.   Two phone line (one for my BBS) was about $40. And my dialup connection was $7.95.    I understand what inflation for basic items mean.   It isn’t your perspective though.  Today and then were always quite doable it always seems.  But, I have to believe it was a much smaller segment of my income than it is for many these days.  A few bucks less headed for saving might end up dramatic.

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  1. March 10th, 2011 at 12:05 | #1

    Actually trhe push by providers really has nothing to do with cost or choking, it’s the same as every big business going, they want their finger in every pie imaginable to increase their profits to the max. They see the money being made by cotent providers and want to get their hands on a share of it and figure the only way they can do it is to be able to give preference to those who are willing to pay them to do it and if it cause problems for others the who gives a rat’s patoot. Kind of like the same thing going on with the NFL owners these days. They have no problem with the labor deal as is but the see a vast increase in revenue coming in the future and thus wish to cut back on the percentage that the players now get so that more of this flows to their pockets. Problem with this system is it has been leading to more and more consolidation of business in fewer hands and when something goes wrong supply gets bottlenecked with no safety net of numerous smaller entities to take up the slack, wjich eventually leads to the consumer getting screwed as such log jams then lead to higher prices due to “scarcity”. Think of the rise in food prices over the last few years as the “efficient” ways of farming ran in to problems. A great example was the rice situation in Haiti. Thanks to corporate farm practices in the US the Haitian rice industry disappeared and when disaster hit the American rice industry and prices increased big time Haitians could not afford what is a staple of their diet because their own local industry had dried up. So while consolidation might bring about efficiencies that might keep the every day price of goods or services down some what it also leads to much greater spikes when problems hit and do you ever remember when such things ever recover completely from such spikes?

  2. March 10th, 2011 at 13:04 | #2

    You are right that cost isn’t a factor based on how backbone is priced. At least in 90+% and around the big customers. The choke has a basis in some fact based on weak designs.

    It is an interesting note that “Too big to fail” embraces not only AIG but a Carolina rice farmer.

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