Will The FCC Ruling For An Open Internet Do More Harm Than Good?

There are two different opinions about the recent FCC ruling to govern the Internet and keep it open to all. Some believe that governmental intervention will do more harm than good. The other opinion is that if there are not regulations in place, companies such as Skype would be not be able to compete.

What was once described as a super highway of information has changed drastically during the past decade. We now have a multi lane highway that now allows users to stream video, download music, watch TV, make phone calls, conduct live meetings, and gaming, and what has taken the Internet by storm, social interaction aka Facebook.

Some of the major ISPs have decided that they have the right to throttle back access for some users. They have also chosen, on their own terms, who should have total access to the Internet pipeline and who shouldn’t. To be fair, there are in fact some users who are broadband hogs, spending their entire life downloading music, videos, and other content. To limit what they see as abuse, some of the major ISPs have throttled back on the amount of data some users can download.

One of the other issues involve companies such as Skype that allow phone calls to be made via the Internet. In theory, an ISP could provide limited access for a competitor’s product, while promoting and controlling their own applications. Some of these ISPs are now trying to control TV programming transmissions via the Internet and how it will be delivered to you and which devices will be supported.

There is little doubt in my mind that the major ISPs aren’t concerned about you and me, instead focusing their attentions on the almighty dollar. We have seen how greed nearly brought down own entire financial system. One can only guess how the major ISPs could actually strangle Internet access and control what we do on the Internet.

Most of us do not like the government to interfere in any business activities. However, sometimes a small dose of regulation is needed to keep the playing field level for all.

What do you think? Will the FCC ruling on an open internet help or hinder our Internet experience?

Comments welcome.

FCC document in .pdf format – Open Internet – 194 pages

AOL Has Purchased TechCrunch – Will There Be Major Changes?

It had been rumored that AOL was going to purchase TechCrunch and the deal was sealed today in San Francisco. The owner and founder of TechCrunch, Michael Arrington, has been providing reviews of products and companies in the technology field. Many of us who blog have cited TechCrunch articles and breaking news for their insider view of what is happening in the technology field. So now that AOL has acquired TechCrunch will there be major changes?

Over at the TechCrunch web site some readers were not happy campers. Some of the comments were:

Shouldn’t Techcrunch be acquiring AOL?

SELL OUT!!!!!!

Michael sold out to AOL???? WTF

You’re surprised? Do you think he’s some bastion of honorable journalism?

Don’t worry. Tomorrow Arrington will backpedal and announce that an acquisition may or may not be taking place.

Mike was broke and in debt. Now he’s just broke.

It is unfortunate that some forget that TechCrunch has provided us with valuable information in the past. I can understand why some folks are upset, but we must remember that Arrington has a perfect right to sell his company to anyone he feels like.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – TechCrunch

PS I am just happy that we no longer are receiving those AOL CD’s in the mail! LOL

Suddenlink 3 Strikes Policy For Copyright Infringers – Is This Legal?

Internet service provider Suddenlink has implemented a policy in which after three notices of copyright infringement, a consumer can lose their account for a period of up to six months. The company states that in its terms of service it is spelled out exactly the procedure for those who violate copyright law. The terms of service state that:

“If you continue to transfer Copyrighted Material illegally, you are violating Suddenlink’s policies and Suddenlink may take further action, including limiting your Internet download capacity, suspending or terminating your account, or a range of other measures.”

What caught my eye in the article I read was this:

In reality, this means that subscribers will be disconnected from the Internet for 6 months without a refund.

I don’t think so! If, and that is a huge if, my service from Suddenlink was disconnected for 6 months they would not be receiving one cent.

What do you think? Would you continue to pay your bill?

Comments welcome.

Source – Torrent Freak

Which Countries Hold The Top Spots For Internet Usage?

No Surprise That China Holds The Top Spot

It is now estimated that some 1.8 billion people from around the world now have access to the Internet. The importance of the Internet has over shadowed any other medium including that of television. TV is limited to a one way presentation, whereas the Internet provides the user with a way to communicate with others from around the world. In a recent article it also stated that:

Here are some standout facts and observations that give additional perspective to the Internet usage of the top countries on the Internet.

  • There are a total of 1.8 billion Internet users in the world.
  • There are 32 countries with more than 10 million Internet users.
  • The top 10 countries on the Internet together have 1.17 billion Internet users. That’s 65% of all Internet users in the world.
  • The top 20 countries on the Internet together have 1.47 billion Internet users. That’s just under 82% of all Internet users.
  • India is the fourth largest country in terms of Internet users in spite of having an Internet penetration of a measly 6.9%. This thanks to its huge population.
  • China takes the top spot both in terms of population and Internet users. China has almost twice (1.8x) as many Internet users as the United States.
  • China together with the United States, the top two countries, make up half of the Internet users in the top 15.
  • Out of the top 20 countries, the five with the highest Internet penetration (not users) are: United Kingdom (82.5%), South Korea (81.1%), Germany (79.1%), Japan (78.2%), United States (76.3%).

By Internet penetration, we mean the share of the population made up of Internet users.

If one looks at China with a population of 1.3 billion people, it is easy to see that there is a large potential for future expansion of Internet users in that country. Whereas others countries like the U.S. may not see limited growth when it comes to Internet users. We can call China the new frontier.

Comments welcome.

Source – pingdom

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Has The Fastest ISP Of Them All?

Any time anyone tries to compare the speeds of different ISPs, one can be suspect of the results. But this morning I read an interesting article over at PCMag.com that seems to have done a fairly good job of testing speed as well as determining customer satisfaction. The general consensus among those who have used the service is that Verizon FIOS is the fastest broadband in the U.S., It seems that PCMag agreed and their survey also indicated that Verizon customers also gave the company a high rating.

But while the lucky few have access to Verizon FIOS, the remainder of us have to connect to the Internet via a cable connection or DSL. What is surprising about some cable companies is that they provide fairly close speeds to Verizon FIOS and AT&T fiber is no slouch either. Here is what PC World presented in a simple chart form:

In another chart they listed what services were being used by region for cable, DSL or FIOS:

The cable company I use for internet connection is a smaller regional company called Suddenlink. I would rate the speed as about average and the same with customer service. I downloaded Surf Speed2, which was the software PCMag.com used and my speed was 883Kbps. Like I said, average.

But what about you? Who are you with and how would you rate your ISP when it comes to speed and customer satisfaction?

Let us know.

Source – PCMag.com

Netzero DSL Broadband Service For $9.95 A Month, But It Is Not Available Everywhere

This a.m. I viewed a commercial on the tube from Netzero, it which they are advertising a new DSL broadband service for only $9.95 a month. So I decided to do some investigation to see what this offer included, and also what limitations were in play.

The first stumbling block was that a landline must be installed at the residence where you want service. This is required to determine availability to sign up online. I don’t have a landline so I called Netzero customer service in which I encountered an automated system that again wanted a landline number to proceed. FWIW, you can get AT&T DSL service without having to have a landline service, of course you won’t see it being offered for $9.95 a month.

But is Netzero really offering DSL service for only $9.95 a month? Yes, but the offer is only for 6 months, after which it reverts to $22.95 a month. In the tiny print at the bottom of the Netzero web site is this:

* Introductory offers not available in all areas. Additional fees may apply including a network management surcharge of up to $2.95. Plans may require a commitment period; commitment periods may vary depending on service location. Discounted plans will revert to the then current rate after the discount period has ended. All plans require a one-time processing & handling fee of $29.95. Cancellation prior to the end of the commitment period may incur an early termination fee.

** Limited guarantee, applies only to first month of service. Refund limited to first month’s subscription fee and $29.95 processing & handling fee, must cancel within first 30 days of service to receive refund. Does not apply to registrations with free introductory periods. Guarantee available for limited time only.

I checked different landline numbers from family, associates and friends from around the country and found a wide variety of different options and that the introductory offer of $9.95 was not available everywhere. Also I did make contact with Netzero customer service and confirmed that you do need an existing landline to get Netzero DSL service.

Netzero also offers faster speeds of  3.0Mbps for $27.95 and also 6.0Mbps for $33.95.

Comments welcome

Source – Netzero

Can AOL Change From A Dial-Up ISP To A Media Company?

While other companies are crying in their beer [News Corp.], AOL seems to be picking itself up by their bootstraps and moving in a new direction. In what can only be described as the ‘New AOL’,  company president of AOL’s media and studios division, David Eun, plans on taking 17 Super Networks and sell them to advertisers.

In a recent article it states:

“Our mission at this company is to be the world’s largest producer of high-quality content, period,” he said. “The content driving our traffic is home-grown, and 80% of it is now produced by folks on the AOL payroll.”

AOL employs about 500 full-time editorial employees. And while Mr. Eun said the marketplace will determine the pace of new hires, it is conceivable that number could double in the coming year. “We are going to be the largest net hirer of journalists in the world next year,” he said.

The content operation, which includes more than 100 brands, including AOL Health and AOL Autos and brands such as Fanhouse and PopEater, will be reorganized into 17 separate “networks” the company will package to advertisers.

The networks themselves represent every significant type of content that the data show AOL users want and advertisers are willing to buy. As an example, the Life network will include sites such as Kitchen Daily and Stylist; Family will include content around parents, kids, tweens, teens and pets. Other “super-networks” will include finance, news, sports, movies, music, local and “communities,” which includes AOL Latino and Black Voice.

The reorganization of AOL is what America has always been about. When one looks at how AOL is doing what they are doing, it instills pride that capitalism is alive and well in an other wise crooked corporate world. In addition it seems that AOL may be hiring an additional staff of 500 journalists.

Comments welcome.


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