B1 中級 美國腔 1177 分類 收藏
Hello Internet,
Enjoying your Internetting session? Perhaps watching this video with lots of tabs open
and full of interesting things to check out. The Internet is amazing and that's because
of the rules which govern how it works, an important one of which is Net Neutrality:
treating all data equally.
But some Internet Providers want to ditch this rule to insert themselves betwixt you
and your data as the most meddlesome middlemen in human history -- to their benefit and our
How? Well think of the Internet as a series of pipes. Some are ocean-and-continent spanning
pipes through which vast rivers of data flow.
You don't get access to those -- they're very expensive, and you couldn't handle it anyway.
But you do have a little pipe that connects to the big pipes, through which you can pull
down and send out data. Your pay your Internet provider to maintain this pipe.
This rule means that your little pipe, cares not what flows through it: cat videos, discussion
forums, calls or games. Whatever you're doing, you're using the whole pipe to do and no website
gets preference over another.
Everyone wants faster Internet, but that requires more metaphorical pipe in the ground, the
building of which is slow and expensive.
Now you may have heard your Internet provider on the news talking about how this rule prevents
them from building 'fast lanes' for special kinds of data -- they want you to think they're
expanding your access to the information superhighway. But removing this rule also gives them the
power to speedbump the existing roads and charge more to use the 'fast' lane that was
just what you had before.
The power to preference some data over others is the power to favor one video site over
another and to limit a tiny part of the pipe for the video you're watching right now or
trying to anyway.
We've been through this before: and constrain other companies in similar ways. Take the
electricity. You pay for a certain amount and when it arrives in your house you can
do with it what you wish. The electricity company doesn't get to decide that rather
than build more power plants it's going to dim your bulbs and then offer a 'brighter
bulbs' monthly subscription. And so it should go with the Internet. Watts are watts and
bits are bits and we'll always need more and more.
And preserving this rule for the Internet has much wider impact than just if some company
takes more of your coins. Not to be overly dramatic here, but preserving data equality
may be one of the most important issues in a generation. Because without this rule Internet
providers could cripple competitors they don't like.
Ever notice the same company that sells you internet also sells Cable TV and Landlines
-- stuff The Internet totally replaces? Without data equality your Internet Provider could
narrow the pipe for competitors until they either go out of business, pay the meddlesome
middleman, or both.
It's like if one store in town super-promised to pay for fast roads everywhere as long as
the town gave them absolute power over all the roads no backsies. If you agree to that
deal don't be surprised when years later all traffic to them is fast and free while the
roads elsewhere are slow and neglected.
This town is basically the Internet without net neutrality which some Internet Providers
would love, but actual Internet citizens, not so much.
Having the pipes treat all data the same lets one guy with a good idea and a bit of programming
knowledge make something today that's seen by millions tomorrow. But only because his
data is treated equally with everything else in the pipes.
An Internet that treats data equally is an internet that continues to shower us with
wonder. But an Internet where middlemen pick and choose what comes through the pipe is
an Internet of stagnation for all and profit for few. Which is why some Internet providers
will always want that control, so the cost of preserving our awesome Internet is eternal
vigilance on the part of good citizens to defend Net Neutrality.


網路公民:防範網路中立 (Internet Citizens: Defend Net Neutrality)

1177 分類 收藏
黃翊丞 發佈於 2014 年 5 月 25 日
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