Finally, after all these years, I understand the Internet thanks to a comment on Techdirt:
Woot! First! by Rstr5105 on Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 8:00pm
This appears to be yet another case of the telcos trying to tell us how the internet is supposed to be withot bothering to take a second to trace the roots of the net.
For those of us that don’t know, the internet started as a way for universities to transmit data back and forth faster than the ol’ sneaker net method. This worked well so DARPA signed on and funded it for a while. Eventually the DoD built it’s own net, and DARPA funding ceased.
It was at this point that AT&T (as well as a few others) signed on and formed the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium(Don’t quote me on the consortium part) The W3C stated very clearly that the internet was to be used specifically for non-commercial gain. (IE Even E-Bay would not be allowed to operate under the original paramaters of the W3C.)
Then the Internet went public, I believe, although I’m not sure if this is correct, it started with a few professors and business men saying something along the lines of “Hey, this is a good thing, now if only I could connect to my computer at work from my computer at home”. It spiraled out from there.
I don’t know what caused the massive build up of the web that we saw in the nineties, but now everyone is “On Line” and looking to make a few bucks. It seems to me that although we have this powerful tool at our disposal, we are corrupting it by allowing it to remain in the hands of the telco’s.
It also seems to me, that under the terms of the original W3C, (I don’t know what it’s current rules are) the telco’s weren’t allowed to charge for the ability to connect to the net. YES, they had to run the cables to feed it, YES they have to run the servers we all log into and NO i don’t have a problem paying them to be able to connect to the net, but it seems against what the net started as for them to be able to say, “Unless you pay this much a month you’re going to be limited to seeing websites at a slower speed than somebody who pays $XX.YY a month.”
Okay sorry for the long post, but it’s my two (four?) cents on this issue.
Don’t quote me on that, of course, because none of it is true. This comment is an illustration of how net neutrality became a political issue in the US in this election year: a bunch of drolling morons have been empowered to run around spouting spew and not enough people are shooting them down. And where would you start anyway?