Maine Desert
Maine Desert


Don’t you just hate it when people talk about Net Neutrality? I mean, what the heck do I care which side the net is on. For all I care the net may not even be a Red Sox fan, and  you know something?  I don’t care. I mean the net is just a bunch of interconnecting computers using telephone and/or cable wires, right?  All I want is turn on my computer in the morning, check my email,  see how much money that Nigerian prince is offering, and watch some entertaining cat videos. I know I have 3 cats, but even though I leave a camera out every night, they never make a movie that is any fun. I admit it, my cats are boring.

Then, one day as I watching another video of Tango, the senior cat, swatting Einstein in the face for looking at the food dish in his presence, I decided to look up Net Neutrality. Damn! That stuff really is boring, but without Net Neutrality the whole internet could become a huge income source for all kind of corporations!  Hold on, isn’t it already a cash cow for all kinds of corporations?  Like Amazon, they buy up every single copy of the latest “Shades of Grey” novel, then they sell it to you in plain brown wrapper for just another 5$. Barnes & Noble won’t do that for you, and the clerk at B&N, she may know you, I mean really.  She might even tell my wife.  Hypothetically, I mean!!

But eliminating Net Neutrality is much, much worse.  I know can you believe that?  First, if you upload any cat video when it goes through your ISP’s server there can be software that alters the appearance of  of every cat to become a character  from Garfield. Now Jim Davis (Human created by Garfield) can collect rights to your video. Think how much more entertaining it will be to see Garfield swat Odie for looking at a food bowl, instead Tango swatting Einstein! You see what you post is not yours anymore, it is something you have supplied to the ISP. (For the uninitiated, an ISP is your Internet Service Provider, most us call it the cable company or maybe the phone company. And a server is actually a fancy word for a big humungus computer like the ones you saw in 1950’s sci fi movies!   What?  You in the back, did you just call me a dweeb? You say a server can also be a bunch of very fast computers that are very similar to desktop PCs? OK, if you say so. Who uses desktops anymore? Idiot!) But not only are they charging you for showing boring films of your cats, but say you want to watch a bunch of YouTube videos.  A fun day of watching cats and Shades of Grey reenactments. Sometimes with the cats doing the reenactments! Now your ISP can charge you extra, especially for the ever popular Shades of Grey Cats series. Or even any other videos, or blogs of unapproved satirists; or even more for the approved list. Perhaps a rolling fee for each item you view depending on popularity or an inverse payment plan based on some other vendor’s pay for play listing. For example, perhaps the writer of Pooch Cafe,  Paul Gilligan, pays Comcast a fee to make sure that any video modified to look like Garfield  characters are modified to look like his Dogs and the cats. Now we have Poncho batting goldfish and the bowl falls on the floor and then, well anyways hilarity, much more than Tango and Einstein could have provided ensues.

Of course, all this laughter on your part ends when you get your monthly cable bill. All those funny videos, those reenactments, the seditious blogs and the satire trying to make you laugh at something serious cost. A lot. But you are hooked, aren’t you? maybe you should check out that Nigerian Prince.  Did you know that in English the Prince’s name means Warner Brother’s?  Its true. And it is also true that Comcast just bought the Nigerian Prince.  It turns out the Prince emails were real, and we all got scammed.

So now we are going to have about 1 out every 3 homes connected to the internet via Comcast and Bugs Bunny. The very first thing this new behemoth did was to enter a deal with Netflix, where Netflix will pay Comcast and Elmer Fudd a fee to send their stream directly into Comcast’s system. And nobody, not even a Nigerian Prince can get the actual dollar details of this deal.  Nobody even knows if the remaining Cable industry will continue to get their Netflix stream through exiting 3rd party vendors or through Comcast.   Sorry about that, it was just a little boring.

WAKE UP!! Now go reread the last paragraph.

Back with me? Good because, I have to admit trying understand what I am explaining is boring me too. So, can we talk about some sort of solution? Glad you agree. You must or would have clicked over to watch Grey Cat videos or reading letters from loser cable companies posing as a Nigerian Prince.

There are 3 main parts of the web involved in commercial transactions along with a 4th that acts as a traffic manager and translates all those wonderful web site names into the secret code known as an IP address. Don’t worry, it’s just a funny looking phone number; it can not hurt you.  The first part is the ISP (explained earlier), they are the one that charge you flat fee for the ability to connect and they will theoretically send data through at the speed dictated by which cost plan you purchase. Second is the internet backbone. When your ISP provider sends your data to its destination, this portion grabs it and send it on to the ISP connected to the data destination. These are very, very expensive to build and maintain, which is why we have ISP’s. In theory your bill is your portion of the ISP’s cost to connect to the backbone. Last, is end point ISP. From there the data may go directly to its destination.   It is the connections to and from the ISP’s that are vulnerable to violating Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality assure that each bit of information sent or received is treated equally. Without Net Neutrality, depending on the sender, the content, and/or the receiver each bit of data may be subject to a surcharge, a discount, or any other sales gimmick.

How about if we nationalize the backbone and the entire infrastructure. The Cable company wants to upgrade their service trunk, then let them own exclusive rights for 5 years. After that, all ISP providers can choose to access that new line and pay a fee for 5 years. After 10 years that upgraded line is free to any ISP. Also, since internet connections are a basic necessity, then no one is allowed, ever, ever, to charge a user a fee to speed up their connection.  That is true for Netflix and you sending pictures to Grandma. No more Comcast high-speed business class. Full throttle for all.

In addition, all ISP providers compete solely on service quality. Your town may be able to have actual competition based on a friendly voice being able help and inform you when something break.  (And it will break!)

Last of all I have just discovered, that the net is not neutral as regards the Red Sox.  The Net is a good for nuthin’ stupid Yankee’s fan!  I may have to disconnect my self.



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