Saturday, July 19, 2014

a need for speed

It’s been awhile since I last posted something here. There’s just too many things happening in my life and finding some time to write is close to impossible. I think my medications may have a negative impact on my creativity and that would account for the long stretches of silence for this blog. I do take Norco in the evenings and that slows me down physically while the same drug wires me and makes ‘thinking’ a tough slog. But I digress. I do have time to write today and I might as well get to it.
What’s on my mind? The internet and its speed. We have DIRECTV for our entertainment needs and it depends on AT&T for On Demand offerings. We also have a Roku device to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime. All of these entertainment functions depend on the high speed delivered by the ATT modem. Which it doesn't deliver. A familiar complaint for most of us. Sigh.
Now I could switch my internet needs to Comcast where speeds are close to 3x times that which ATT delivers. But I hesitate. Comcast is evil. Since corporations are people I find myself not caring for this particular ‘person’. I think ‘he’ is a bully. A greedy bully and I would rather not give him any of my money. Now here is where I’m stuck. It’s Comcast or ATT. Both are evil. There are no other contenders for my fortune in this area.
As I stated, I’m particularly incensed by the slow internet speeds offered by both of these companies. You see, I once spent a week in the offices of ADP; the payroll people for the nation. I was taking a class in their Georgia headquarters and we were given access to T1 lines while we were there. T1, T2 and T3 lines are very, very fast. If you've never used one you wouldn't believe how fast they are. And once you have used one you will never get over the fact that you are stuck with third world internet for as long as the corporate ‘persons’ of ATT, Verizon, Comcast and others can milk this cash cow.
What speed do we get? We average download speeds of – 4 mbps. I just checked the speed a minute ago and it was 2.56 mbps. On the 17th at this same time I was able to get 5.04 mbps. AT&T tells me that I can expect UP TO 6 mbps. The speed is not guaranteed and I've never seen it even close to 6. As a nation we are in tenth place among them when measuring download speeds. We average 10.0 mbps. South Korea is #1 with an average of 21.9 mbps
What do I propose? I see the internet as a valuable public utility. Let’s cut the crap. The internet belongs to us; the people. We gave a license to these corporations to operate the internet. We need to take it back and set some rules and guidelines as to how it should operate. This is the Information Age. A time more important in human history than the Industrial Revolution. More important than the printing press and the revolution that followed that invention. This is not the time to deprive the people of their own treasure; the internet. The welfare of the people depends on it. The internet brings us knowledge and that is more important than ships and tanks and guns. We can’t allow knowledge to rest in the hands of corporate ‘persons’. Cities, towns, counties and States should take responsibility and ownership of the internet in the name of the people. It needs to be free, just as the streetlights and streets are ‘free’. The public is already paying for the internet but making that payment to the wrong people. What kind of an internet do you think we could have if we took just half of what we pay the ‘Persons’ now for the service and used it for ourselves?
Will it happen in my lifetime? Will the people of this country and a hundred others finally see that others are taking what is rightfully theirs, the internet, and stealing money from them by charging them to use it?

That’s probably enough ranting. If I move on to some other subjects I run the risk of repeating some posting of months or years back. Memory; I miss it so, now that it is gone…