“The U.S. government allowed AT&T, then the monopoly provider, to operate in a non-competitive environment in most areas of the country in exchange for the federal and state government regulation of price and service quality.” FCC website
Internet ecosystem – who are the players and what do they do?
Content providers (data centers with racks of serves)
‘The emergence of the internet offered a new way forward. The internet’s protocols establish a fundamental, and important, division of labor: On one end are providers of access to the internet, mostly phone and cable companies like Verizon and Comcast. On the other are providers of content through the internet — the vast array of web sites from which people around the world derive entertainment, get their news, conduct online commerce, and so forth. Between them are yet more companies maintaining the basic infrastructure of the internet’s “backbone” — the massive networks of cables and switches necessary to route data around the globe.’ “Keeping the Internet Competitive,” Tim Berners Lee
Repeal of Net Neutrality despite support from public to keep it
Driving force but also indicator of values
*Interesting note: Freedom House (US gov’t-funded nonprofit that researches and advocates for democracy and human rights) defines internet freedom in three parts:
Obstacles to access: infrastructural and economic barriers to access, legal and ownership control over internet service providers , and independence of regulatory bodies
Limits on content: legal regulations on content, technical filtering and blocking of websites, self-censorship, the vibrancy and diversity of online news media, and the use of digital tools for civic mobilization;
Violations of user rights: surveillance, privacy, and repercussions for online speech and activities, such as imprisonment, extralegal harassment, or cyberattacks
I’ve focused on the first two areas in thinking about this topic, but the third is also interesting in this context (out of the three categories, this is the one in which the US scores the worst)
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