Loading...
BME(Bless my ears). I am 69 and admit to hearing loss but why can prime time tv shows not have the same sound quality...

Not the end of the world (wide web)

Knapp

Thomas Knapp

Loading…

Monday, November 27, 2017

I get lots of email, including email from political advocacy groups trumpeting the Impending Doom of the Month. This month, that doom is the coming end of "Net Neutrality" at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission.

"Donald Trump and his corporate cronies are about to destroy the Internet," writes Eden James of Democracy for America.

"[FCC chairman Ajit] Pai is paving the way for monopolistic ISPs to block and censor what we see online, and push anyone who can't pay extra fees into 'internet slow lanes,'" warns Carli Stevenson of Demand Progress.

Kurt Walters of Fight For The Future says that the impending end of the FCC's "Net Neutrality" rules is a "plan to end the Internet as we know it ..."

For some reason, those alarmist emails leave out the fact that "the Internet as we know it" — the World Wide Web — survived and thrived for nearly a quarter of a century without "Net Neutrality," which was only imposed by a previous FCC a little more than two years ago.

But now the alarmists insist that axing the two-year-old rule will suddenly, for unspecified reasons, cause Internet Service Providers to divide the Internet into "fast" and "slow" lanes at the expense of their own customers and of small web site owners. Why ISPs would cut off their noses to spite their own faces in this way isn't explained, probably because the prediction makes no sense at all and simply isn't based in reality.

The fight over "Net Neutrality" is best understood as a duel between corporate interests — Big Telecom on one hand, Big Data on the other, with Big Data doing a better job of fooling activists into making a moral crusade out of the matter.

Big Data — specifically companies that deliver high-bandwidth services like streaming video (Netflix, Google's YouTube service, et al.), or that consume lots of bandwidth simply by virtue of being very popular (Facebook and so forth) need ever larger pipes to shove that data at you. They want ISPs to shoulder the costs of building and fattening those pipes.

Big Telecom — the ISPs — want to charge the bandwidth hogs extra for getting such large amounts of data to your screen in a timely manner, so that Big Data bears the costs of building those pipes and keeping them uncongested.

If Big Data wins ("Net Neutrality"), ISP customers will end up paying more for Internet access. Everyone's Internet access fees will go up (or at least remain higher than they otherwise would) and broadband Internet's expansion into rural areas will slow down.

If Big Telecom wins, different customers (streaming video subscribers, web hosting users) will see our fees rise.

There's no such thing as a free Internet. Someone's going to pay to make it keep working. The only question is who. I'd rather pay an extra $5 a month for my web hosting and Netflix binges than shift that cost to my neighbor next door who checks her email once a day. Good riddance to "Net Neutrality."

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

February 23, 2019

The world of manufacturing is in the midst of a new industrial revolution. Today’s factory floor has evolved far beyond yesteryear’s steam-powered workshop, just as today’s Tesla Model S — internet-connected, nearly autonomous — has evolved far beyond the horse-drawn…

Harry J. Ploehn

February 23, 2019

Do you watch the TV game show Family Feud? It is good fun as one family competes with another for cash prizes, but we all know that real life family feuds can be bitter, divisive and cause great damage.

For many years the United Methodist Church, along with many other denominations has been having…

021117campbell

February 22, 2019

If the goal is to build a border wall, then President Trump has made the wrong decision at every turn. In early 2018, Trump had the opportunity to secure $25 billion in funding for his border wall in exchange for legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. Instead of taking…

Marc_Thiessen

February 22, 2019

The people of rural North Carolina (east and west) face unique challenges. Those of us located east of Interstate 95 share many of the same hardships and we have been in the same boat for years.

I have recently spent many hours in Pitt County with fellow lawmakers, and our brothers…

JimPerry

February 21, 2019

Several local school districts have asked the General Assembly to free them from the rigid start-date and end-date of the academic year now embedded in law. They define the issue as "calendar flexibility."

What seems a prosaic procedural matter actually poses a test of policymakers' flexibility and…

Ferrel Guillory

February 20, 2019

It's hard to be a native New Yorker and be stunned by much of anything that you see on the city's streets. But the other day I was in for quite a surprise.

As it happens, I had just mentioned a certain maternity-clothes store in Tribeca that happens to be across the street from Planned Parenthood.…

kathrynlopez

February 20, 2019

Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and member of the French National Assembly, lived from 1801 to 1850. He had great admiration for our country, except for our two faults —slavery and tariffs. He said: "Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more…

Walter Williams

February 19, 2019

El Chapo’s murderous Sinaloa drug cartel was based in Mexico, but for years its American nerve center was Chicago. His henchmen from the Little Village neighborhood, twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores, turned the city into a conduit for as much as 1,500 kilos of cocaine and heroin each…

February 19, 2019

There's one in every family: The embarrassing relative who spouts off conspiracy theories or racist opinions at Thanksgiving.

If that relative was in your circle of friends, you'd make sure they didn't get invited ever again. But because they're family, you're stuck putting up with the crazy.

North…

Colin Campbell

February 18, 2019

I was born in Charlotte. But I grew up in rural Mecklenburg County. There used to be such a place — and, indeed, quite a few such places still exist in our increasingly urbanized state.

My family lived on 40 acres, mostly forest with a freight-rail track running through it. When the train…

john hood.jpg
311 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 32
        Next Page»   Last Page»