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 The American Internet

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  Why the American Internet is slow and expensive according to Susan Crawford who claims the telecom industry is treating Americans as a captive audience.

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Why the American Internet is slow and expensive

    According to Susan Crawford, in her book Captive Audience, it's because the telecom industry is treating Americans as a captive audience:  For those living in the United States of America and are interested in why their Internet access is so slow and expensive, you should either read the book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age by Susan Crawford.  Or, for a brief discussion of the problem, find a video on one of the streaming Web sites by searching for Captive Audience Susan Crawford.  Deregulation in the 1980s helped cause this problem (as well as causing one financial crisis after another).  My favorite was the 25 minute duration interview with Susan Crawford discussing her book Captive Audience with Bill Moyers.  She mentioned in the interview that in Hong Kong, people can get a 500MB connection for about $25 a month, and, in Seoul, for $30, they have a choice of three fibre-optic broadband services, and they hook it up in a day because the competition is so fierce.  The video also explains how big business using their lobbyists and people placed in political offices such as the FCC try to pass laws making it almost impossible for local governments to set up a fibre-optic system as a public utility.

    However . . .  In some places like Chattanooga, Tennessee, the EPB (Electric Power Board) fought ISPs such as Comcast to provide up to 1GBs fiber-optic Internet access for $70 a month and now offer a triple play of services (phone, Internet and video) like the big boy companies do but for a much cheaper price on their smart power grid.  Elsewhere, Google Fiber offers similarly-priced services but only for video and Internet access in cities such as Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.  They later announced plans to do the same thing in Austin, Texas, Provo, Utah, Nashville, Tennessee, Charlotte, North Carolina, Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.  So, fiber-optic Internet can be provided to customers for much less than the big boy companies are charging and still stay in business doing it.  They just don't seem to be interested in doing so if it means they cannot get a significant portion of the average wage-earner's paycheck . . .

    Data plan limits and Web site design:   Thanks to the telecom industry only allowing people a measly few hundred MBs or up to a few GBs of data each month (and charging them again if they go over that amount in a month), many Web site designers are making two different versions of their Web sites; One that has no graphics on it whatsoever (or damned few) and another with more graphics for those who are not on mobile devices.  This is done so the visitors to their Web sites do not use up all of their alloted data limit downloading a few Web pages.  The carrier service plans all seem very similar, or, they can spend around 100 dollars a month for truly unlimited data usage (provided they don't set up their mobile device as a hotspot).  Just remember, those mobile devices may have high resolution, but, they're still small screens.  Try comparing a regular Web page on your desktop computer and your mobile device to see the difference.

  *   I've lately started to design my Web pages with fewer graphics and most of the navigation type of pictures I'm using are only a hundred or so pixels in size.  For more variety, I use colored unicode characters like little faces, arrows, and other symbols.  For new pictures, I'll use small pictures of only a hundred or so pixels across, and give people a way to see a bigger picture if they click on it.  But, if they do that, I figure that they want to see it in better detail and won't mind using a little more of their alloted data to see it.

    Unlimited plans that are not unlimited:  Many carriers claim that their data plans are unlimited, but, what they dont' tell you (unless you look at the small print) is that after you go over your few hundred MBs to a few GBs of data use, they'll drop you down to 2G speeds.

    In case you haven't guessed it, yet, I'm not a fan of big business, corporate rule, or corporatocracies, which is what America seems to have become while trying to maintain the illusion of a democracy.

  Er . . .  I'll get off my little soapbox, now, and let you read the rest of this Web page.  LOL  It's not like anyone listens, anyway . . .

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  My next pictures page should include pictures taken in south Florida.

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