The article is an interesting rant, however there is a conspicious lack of mention of the perspective that the isps and telcos may take. In fact, the downside is neatly summed up in the last paragraph with, "Granted, a plan like that would take it's own delays and it's own constraints", which is hardly even lip service to the factors involved.
"Deregulate telecommunications. Make all the reselling, profit enhancing, and greed ridden charges that plague the circuits go away."
The market is deregulated now. Bell was ripped apart and scattered to the five corners of the continent, little telcos sprung up and the giants built themselves once more as private entities. ISPs sprang up from the ground, sometimes hundreds in the same city, the cheap ones starved of profit eventually went through that great STM1 to the sky. The ones with realistic pricing, from company and customer perspective, flourish - or not. From dictionary.com Regulation - A principle, rule, or law designed to control or govern conduct. Isn't this really what you want to happen? A centralised authority saying what is the right price, when services must be delivered, determining SLAs and doling out punishments to those who don't deliver?
"Combine your efforts, lay down nodes of huge circuits (much like the cable modem architechture), and make several different ethernet nodes for pre-defined areas. That way, the Internet can grow into what it was meant to be."
Equality for all, an E1/T1 in every home? Maybe we'll need it soon with everything in the house wired online, but I don't think so, at least not on a big scale at first.
This is the life cycle of technological development.;
Someone sees a need
The product to fulfull that need is developed
An alternative use for the product is found
This drives development in new directions previously unknown
Stir, simmer, repeat.
The internet wasn't built with capitalistic intentions as the driving force behind the motivation. The slowly increasing popularity of the internet was both the reason behind the great surge of corporate presence and the massive intake of users over the last 7 years or so. Stir, simmer, repeat - more users, more corporations online.
The same philosophy will apply to housholds online. The bandwidth is starting to become more readily available and at increasingly lower prices so there are new projects popping out that previously might not have been thought viable for some logistical reason. With the increase in these projects emerging in the market place there is a new factor pushing for better bandwidth, and so we are starting to starting to see the shift from "what do i *need* to be online" to "what do i *want* to be online?".
"Think of the amount of people connected to the Internet, and if this became a standard, the amount of money that would roll in by everyone having it readily available to them."
This sounds like the same argument presented time after time in forums ranging from fidonet, usenet and mailing lists right up to articles and editorials in print media, and to their counterparts in the online world.
How many times have you read someone's opinion on the pricing of internet services and it all boils down to, "If an isp gave you an account and let you download as much as you want and be connected for ever and only charged you a couple of dollars a month they would have so many users and make *so* much money!" It's a nice thought, and one I'd had a few years ago which seemed to make sense to me at the time.
The reality of the situation is that everyone has bills to pay. The more users this CheapNET isp has the more dialin ports they will need, the more bandwidth and support services required, all of which cost a great deal of money. I'm by no means saying that isps and telcos are barely scraping by - some are, but I would guess that most of the well established ones are making a nice profit.
The telcos have to have their cut for the circuits, often a fixed term charge as well as bandwidth costs (depending on type of circuit)- it costs them money to provision and maintain their networks, increasing bandwidth often means rolling out more cable at great expense in both money and time. New technologies may too mean new cabling, at the very least it means new equipment in all their exchanges.
Upline service providers charge for traffic passing through their networks - they have to pay for it too either from another isp or for telco circuits, why should they give a free ride away?
That leaves CheapNET, which unfortunately can't be so cheap now. The new wave of free isps such as FreeOnline have yet to prove themselves workable as a financial entity. I have a feeling that they will need to adapt or die off as well as other isps with little income from users. Many of these services make their money from banner advertising and corporate sponsorships. Banner ads are still showing themselves to be a joke, the corporate world must be pretty close to waking up to the fact and dropping the budgets for these campaigns. The point is, we don't as yet know that these services really can work, and as they are they all have limitations contrary to the ideas presented in the article.
"Whether they want it or not, it's still nice to have the option. Everyone would still get their money, and people like me would be happy shelling out $100 or more for screaming bandwidth."
The thing is most people don't want to pay $100 for their internet access. That's US$1200 a year, to me it's a bit over AU$2000. That's a sizeable chunk of my income after I've paid my taxes and I'm not sure that I would want to fork out that kind of money for the bandwidth that I do desperately crave.
Conclusion? There is no right to bandwidth and there shouldn't be. That the society we live in has the mentality where everyone thinks they are entitled to a better life, better job, more money and more bandwidth is both harmful and unreasonable. The free market is and should be free to determine its own strategies in the marketplace. You'll see that the end result will come to the products and services you want at a price affordable for you and the vendor.
judo ergo sum