Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Death of free internet

Here's an article that raises a couple interesting questions.

1) Would you be willing to pay a monthly surcharge to your ISP to have access to a bundle of Humboldt blogs?
2) Does this article provide a fair characterization of Canadians?
3) If the article, which appears to written by a Canadian, uses excess hyperbole in its description of Canadians is the rest of the article even likely to be true...

See what you think... feel free to post a comment. You have until 2010.

eric's blog watcher...
Death of Free Internet is Imminent- Canada Will Be Test Case
Reality Check: Jul 20, 2008

By Kevin Parkinson

In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet.

The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet.

And mostly, it's good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved. However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don't count.

Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won.

However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP'S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access.

In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point.

From my browsing (on the currently free Internet) I have discovered that the 'demise' of the free Internet is slated for 2010 in Canada, and two years later around the world. Canada is seen a good choice to implement such shameful and sinister changes, since Canadians are viewed as being laissez fair, politically uninformed and an easy target.
Read more of the article...

One of the employee-owned and managed Palco Community Corporation diversification plan for the old Palco was going to be starting a Palco Communications division which would supply Internet and phone service to all Palco employees as well as providing a similar service to the surrounding community as part of the "Palco Plan".

Won't see anything like this with MRC's reduction of Palco employees plan, the one Judge Schmidt chose while ignoring Bear River's Heartlands Plan except to note it was entered in a timely fashion, thanks a lot..
Gotta say I don't give this article much credibility. The value of the internet for users and providers is connectivity, Just like the phone system that has value only if you can call someone else.

I don't know about Canada for sure, but I sincerely doubt the essay's predictions. Sure, some sites are blocked and some content is censored, like political speech in China and child porn in the US.

ISPs also terminate phishing sites and use firewalls that block port scanners and other malware.
2 comments on the death of the internet and 300+ on reggae wars.

Wow, are we aware!
I agree with 1:46. This is not going to happen.
Don't be so sure. There's a pilot program in an area in Texas where they're dinging people for each GB they download beyond a certain point. It's an obvious attack on P2P and on video services like YouTube, but it will affect us all.
So 12:49, what do you have against paying for what you use?

Transporting data takes resources above and beyond the cost of producing the data. Just like transporting water, electric power, and natural gas requires resources besides having wells and generators.

Unlike water and gas, data can't be depleted so there no need to conserve its use. But there are still costs to transport it. How do you think those costs should be allocated when everyone shares the "pipelines" but some people use more of the "pipe" than the rest? Quantity based usage charges seem OK to me, in principle.

You know when a new subdivision is built, the existing residents tery to make the developers pay all the cost of expanding sewer/water pipes and plants, road expansions, and schools. The new residents pay taxes for maintenance and small improvements.

If the internet were run that way, most of the public wouldn't have access. Right now everyone shares in the costs of expansion, old users and new users alike because its figured that everyone benefits when there are more users.

Plus, predicable growth allows for larger economies of scale that lower the overall cost of building the networks and keeps the basic cost to each user low. So, if some users mess up the plans by using much more data than was anticipated, they should pay extra. How much extra is a good question because market economic come into play when resources are scarce. But I think it can be done fairly, without unduly limiting new net applications or hampering the development of technologies to transport data.
The concern is not so much that people who use more will pay more, though that's a factor. The concern is that access to the full internet will be restricted. That means no one will see your little small business on non-profit website unless you pay to have it included in a packaged offering.

Would have been good if the guy in the article had offered a few links to telco business plans or some such that spelled out how this is going to occur...
The idea that anything happens on which someone isn't making a profit is just pure anathema to free market wackos. They can't stand it.
I do remember Bill Gates suggesting a tax of like 1/8 cent on each e-mail to deter spam. But the motivation, at least as stated, was different.
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