Thursday, April 14, 2011

My vision for the future of internet connectivity

If you look at the United States in terms of internet bandwidth, and the price per megabit, we're very far behind. The bandwidth we receive is a criminally low amount compared to the prices we pay. In the past couple of years, studies have repeatedly shown that the United States is far behind in terms of internet connectivity. This is disappointing considering how much opportunities the U.S has if we would only had what I call "quality connectivity." Which by my standards, is essentially a reasonable amount of bandwidth for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, that's just not the case right now.
It's going to be a very long period of time before internet connectivity here in the States comes to my definition of "quality connectivity." Especially since we're dealing with a recession right now that sees very little improvement. For some reason that I can't explain, the ISPs (Internet service providers) have it in their heads that we don't notice how poor of speeds we receive for the price we pay. Unfortunately, this is slightly true considering the fact that most people are not technically sophisticated and choose to be careless about it.
The same is true with the mobile operators (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the U.S). There seems to be a duopoly here that AT&T and Verizon which means they have leverage over their customers' speeds and connection consistency. The price for mobile voice, SMS, and data is ridiculous! On AT&T and Verizon, the cheapest data plan averages around $60 and is capped or limited in someway. Whether they charge you for extra data or they "throttle" you, it's still limited and the amount of bandwidth you receive is poor. This is extremely disappointing!
The FCC has been trying to do this all along with Net Neutrality. Unfortunately, Google and Verizon have been pressuring the FCC to not force rules on wireless carriers. This means that internet connectivity will not improve since competition would not be pressured by the FCC. Some of the rules FCC are imposing on the ISPs are good, but there are plenty of exceptions to those rules. Also not to mention that all those rules defined by Net Neutrality have no affect on the wireless carriers. I hope this will change before the bill is passed. At this point in time, the Obama Administration is planning on vetoing the bill until "appropriate" changes are made. This may be the one thing I agree with the Obama Administration.
All I'm asking for from the wireless carriers and ISPs is speedy, but reasonably priced internet. If they decide not to, then we need to urge the FCC to step in the right way.

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