[Please note: I kept the source material from today’s Lawrence Eagle-Tribune in to demonstrate the writing process for those who might be curious. That’s probably just Craig.]
Thirty years ago, few people outside the realms of academic research or the government had heard of something called the Internet. Now, it’s hard to imagine how we could get by without it.
Three decades have passed.
The internet’s quiet birth.
Now it is our blood.
The leap in little more than 25 years from a small network of interconnected government and academic computers used by researchers to a globe-spanning World Wide Web that provides information, instantaneous communications and an endless array of entertainment to everyone with a connection is nothing short of a revolution. It was powered by the free market, the drive by profit-motivated companies to provide their customers with a bigger, better, faster Internet experience.
Information changed for good.
Free market made so.
By the end of the day today, the revolution may be over.
In the name of fairness, the federal government will wrap its regulatory hand around the throat of the Internet, and begin to squeeze until it gets the results it desires.
Strangles free commerce.
The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote today to establish new regulatory controls over the Internet aimed at preserving “net neutrality.” It’s a complex issue, but at its core is the idea that internet service providers — ISPs, that is, companies like Comcast and Verizon that provide Internet connections to people’s homes — must not be allowed to charge content providers — companies like Netflix and Amazon that sell us stuff, mainly videos in this context, to watch over the Internet — different rates for delivering the content at different speeds.
Issue too complex.
So let’s oversimplify:
Comcast wants control.
ISPs have long wanted to charge providers more for placing their content in a “fast lane” — which means their data-intensive, high-definition videos would play smoothly over customers’ home Internet connections. The ISPs feel justified in charging higher prices for faster service because delivering data-intensive content takes modern, upgraded networks they spent billions to build.
Modern speed costs more.
There’s a good reason for that.
That shit costs billions.
But net neutrality advocates worry that ISPs, many of which are part of larger corporate conglomerates, will use the ability to throttle data delivery speeds to favor their own content. ISP Comcast, for example, owns content provider NBC/Universal.
Concerns have emerged.
Networks own the internet.
Pushing own products.
The FCC’s solution is to reclassify all ISPs as “common carriers.” That’s the same designation applied to old-school telephone networks and means in practice that the ISPs will have to offer equal access to their networks to all content providers.
Remember Ma Bell.
Equal access made required.
So net neutrality advocates are about to get the government regulation they have been begging for. It’s rather surprising that the same people who could imagine the potential of a world linked by interconnected computers cannot imagine a downside to opening the door to government regulation.
What the fuck ya all?
Comcast, Verizon and the other ISPs did not invest billions upgrading their networks out of a sense of public-spiritedness. They did so to make money. And one of the ways they expected to make money was to charge content providers more for faster service. If the FCC votes as expected, that potential income stream is now gone.
These guys invested.
Rewards now taken from them.
Income source removed.
How much will ISPs invest in network upgrades in the future, if a major economic benefit of doing so is removed?
Investors made sad.
No jobs created.
And what other “benefits” will government regulators provide in addition to “fairness”? Censorship, perhaps? How about spying? Many of the same people who cheered Edward Snowden’s expose of government email and instant message snooping are now applauding the handing of regulatory power over the entire Internet to that very same government.
Don’t trust government.
They’re gonna spy on your ass.
Advocates for free and open access to information may be cheering today. We expect it will not be long before they rue the day the federal government took control of the Internet.
You will rue this day.
Sadness will befall the earth.
The end arrives soon.
This is a great synopsis. Whether the haiku lends clarity of thought through its brevity, or whether brevity forces clarity of thought, you’ve repeatedly hit the nail on the head here. Great piece!