Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

The Internet: Fiber as a utility

The Internet, one of the most important, if not the most important developments in
modern history. Conceived in the 60's and 70's, becomin common in the late !0's, and
no"adays the internet is one of the most omnipresent aspects of our lives. #e are
connected at home, at school, and on our phones. The status of the internet has eclipsed
that of the phones, radios, and television that "ere revolutionary inventions in previous
enerations. Thouh "e treat it as a necessity, and it is for most people, the people "ho
provide us our internet, and the people "ho leislate over it, still treat a connection as a
service or consumer ood. It is not under any controls from the overnment, e$cept in
those fe" areas "here a city has setup their o"n net"or%s, because companies "ill not
provide it for them. #e are no" reachin a ne" roup of decisions about the internet
Thouh our nation invented the foundations of the internet, our internet is not up
to par "ith the rest of the "orld. &ne of the commonly cited resourced for internet
statistics of this nature is '%amai's (uarterly state of the internet. They rate many
statistics, includin such factors as averae connection speed. )ince the first of these
ratins, 'merica has not been in a prominent position, and has only recently entered the
top ten. This is a tanible representation of the poor state of net"or%s across the *nited
)tates, at least compared to the rest of the "orld. In fact, "hilst many other countries are
much more concerned "ith the state of their internet, and are layin hih+speed net"or%s
so that their country has a preferable infrastructure for businesses.
&ne of the main reasons that the 'merican infrastructure is in such a bad state is
because of the current paradim of the internet "e are operatin under. The internet
started, as all ne" transformin technoloies must, as bein thouht of as a ood or
service. #hen the internet started it "as at first a military pro,ect, and then a toy for the
rich, or those "ho "ere inclined to"ards that sort of thin. &ver time the internet has
become more and more important to the "orld. 's this has happened, thouh our
perceptions about the internet have chaned, "e still treat it in many important "ays li%e
a lu$ury item. I)-'s .Internet )ervice -roviders/ are not reulated li%e any other
technoloy that has become a vital part of modern life. The I)-'s are not under price
restrictions and, at the same time, there are, in many places, no real competitors to the
dominant company, meanin they can increase the price to a ridiculous level. #ith the
ability to chare these prices, and lare empires built on slo"er, older, copper+based
technoloy. They claim these connections are ood enouh, and that no+one really
0"ants1 hih+speed connections, because people refuse to pay the ridiculous price they
offer for such connections.
)o no" that "e %no" "here our internet, and our internet providers are no", let's
loo% at "here "e miht be oin. The t"o aforementioned problems "ith our internet are
speed and coverae. These, as "ell as our current pricin structure, are some of the
problems that are %eepin our internet treated as a service, and %eepin a lare amount of
people from ettin access, and %eepin the averae 'merican "ith an overpriced sub+
par net"or%. In an ae "here internet connections are vital to our school"or%, our ,obs,
our entertainment, and every facet of our lives, "hy is it not treated as a utility li%e
electricity and phones2 There are several pro,ects that are shiftin us to"ards this ne"
treatment of the internet.
The biest of these pro,ects are by the biest company on the internet, and this
is actually an encourain factor to"ards the "ay the internet miht o. ' first, and
currently the most monitored fact is the increase in connection speed. 3ou don't pay your
electrical company for a ma$imum throuhput of electricity that isn't enouh for a lot of
the day, and then isn't used for a lot of the day. 4oole's pro,ect, 4oole Fiber, is a bi
step to"ards treatin the internet as you payin for a connection that "ill serve your
needs. 4oole has put out an internet connection that "ill cause you to not have to "ait
for lon periods of time, and "ill thus allo" your computer to become the limitin factor
in your internet speed. This isn't a small raise in connection speed. This is a little over 500
times the averae speed that most 'mericans currently et, and the price is very similar to
prices you can et it for much cheaper technoloies. 6o" does this "or%2 #ell, that is
"hy it is so important that 4oole is spearheadin the effort.
4oole 'd+sense enerates a lot of revenue for the company, and that means that
every person connected to the internet "ill ive 4oole money in a "ay other than the
cost they are charin them. This is similar to ho" T7 stations ma%e money from
vie"ers. The reason television can be bouht relatively cheaply by the consumer, is the
money consumers ive the television provider is heavily supplemented by ad revenue,
and other forms of moneti8in, that are do+able because so many people use their service.
4oole Fiber is a step to"ards that, because if oole can ive people hih+(uality lines,
they'll bro"se the internet faster, and attract users that "ill use their products, and
enerate them money in "ays other than buyin the connection itself.
9i%e many start+ups, 4oole has no e$istin infrastructure for it's pro,ect to "or%
off of. This means that one of their main oals is layin their infrastructure and
connectin lots of people to their net"or%. This is "hy they are offerin a internet
connection "hich, for a :;00 build+out fee, "ill ive you 7 years of free internet, at a
slihtly belo"+averae, but still pretty fast speed. Creatin this infrastructure is in itself a
shift in that is creatin infrastructure, since the main companies haven't laid out lare+
scale infrastructure in over a decade. 'lso, "hat they are creatin is a very upradeable
net"or%. Fiber is both relatively easily upradeable, and is not very e$pensive to
maintain. The main cost of fiber is in layin the infrastructure, "hich is "hy the corporate
iants have shied a"ay from it. 4oole is usin it's money to build an infrastructure,
similar to the buildin of the interstates, that if it is carried out across 'merica, could
benefit our nation.
' second pro,ect I "ill mention that is increasin access to the internet is 4oole
9oon. This pro,ect is tryin to similarly add ne" users to the internet, by creatin a
cheaper, and yet faster, alternative to satellite internet in rural areas. This pro,ect is still
very much in it's inception, but it is in the vein of the ne" mode of operation of the
)o no" "e come to summari8in the actual shift. The internet is chanin into a
utility, not a service. This means that cheaper prices, and faster speeds, "ill rule the ne"
ne" paradim. <ven more importantly, the focus is shiftin to"ards connectin as many
people as possible to the internet, and ma%in money off of the actual "ay they use that
internet connection. This benefits the consumers, as internet become cheaper, and more
ubi(uitous. -reviously the pace of internet speeds has only been pushed by sheer
necessity, and is one of the slo"est ro"in sectors of computin technoloy, at least
since around the year =000. 4oole Fiber, is helpin chanes this acceptance of the status
(uo, 0"hat is the minimum service "e can provide to people that they "ill pay for1 , to a
more for"ard+loo%in (uestion, 0"hat connection can "e ive to provide information to
users computer as fast as it is useful>feasible.
They also are connectin as many people as possible. 4oole's pricin structure
is, as aforementioned, the %ey difference bet"een their service and other similar attempts,
they can provide service to a "ide s"ath of any district, and in one fell s"oop, help
moderni8e a city's infrastructure, and add a reat number of people to their hih+speed
internet service, "ho could not afford other, more e$pensive options. -ro,ects by other
companies and cities, as "ell as 4oole's pro,ect 9oon are also pushin for this oal.
These t"o factors are helpin to transform the current and future face of the internet.
Works Cited
?)tate of the Internet 7olume 6, @umber =.? Akamai. '%amai, =05;. #eb.
?Time #arner Cable: 3ou Fon't #ant 5 4bps Groadband + 3ou #ant #hat #e
4ive 3ou at the -rice #e 4ive It H F)9Ieports, I)- Information.? Time Warner Cable:
You Don't Want 1 Gbps Broadband - You Want What We Give You at the Prie We Give !t
" D#$%eports& !#P !n'ormation. @.p., n.d. #eb. 06 Fec. =05;.
?7eri8on Is #illfully Frivin F)9 *sers Into the 'rms of Cable + 7eri8on's -lan:
Jill F)9, Jill *nioni8ed 9abor, Iaise -rices H F)9Ieports, I)- Information.? (eri)on !s
Will'ull* Drivin+ D#$ ,sers !nto the Arms o' Cable - (eri)on's Plan: -ill D#$& -ill
,nioni)ed $abor& %aise Pries " D#$%eports& !#P !n'ormation. @.p., n.d. #eb. 06 Fec.
=05;. Ahttp:>>""">sho"ne"s>7eri8on+is+#illfully+Frivin+F)9+*sers+
?Fiber.? Goo+le. @.p., n.d. #eb. 06 Fec. =05;. Ahttps:>>>about>E.
?-ro,ect 9oon.? $oon 'or All. 4oole, n.d. #eb. 06 Fec. =05;.