(Welcome to the Matrix of Corporate Leeching)
In most parts of the United States, gigantic corporations are bleeding the people dry by charging exorbitant rates for internet connections. They are making themselves fabulously wealthy, while providing a service that should be free of charge, because the technology used to create the internet arrived due to public funding i.e. your tax dollars at work.
ARPANET was the original internet and was created by the Department of Defense. So, without your tax dollars, there would be no internet. Also, universities that rely on public funds were involved in its creation, and in the creation of the smarter employees of any corporations that were involved. Also, every time you drive on a road, you’re basically buying into socialism. So, if you say you’re against socialism, stop driving, expecting the police to protect you, sending letters, or talking to anyone who went to public schools or has a degree. Also, don’t use the word “is,” because it’s not copyrighted.
Now that we’ve established you’re a commie heathen, let’s consider making the internet free for everyone, and not just for people who buy overpriced lattes or hyper-processed cheeseburgers. I mean, what about people who can’t get to those places, have only a desktop, or are children who could use the internet for educational purposes in the poorer neighborhoods?
Censorship considerations aside, being outside the purview of this article, why isn’t there a public internet? Well, you can go down to the library. Or you can lug a laptop to several well-known franchises. But what about free internet in every home?
I spoke to several people involved in these sorts of projects, all of whom wish to remain completely anonymous, as this is what I heard.
In one nameless locale, a group of volunteers devoted time and money into creating an ISP that anyone in the city can use. They had to purchase the use of phone lines to do so, but they provide dialup and other types of connections. The key thing is, it relies on volunteers providing the service. They accept donations, but they are sacrificing to make this a possibility, because they are tired of seeing the corporate internet providers suck up wealth from so many people.
Another idea is Wi-fi. One source suggested telling people to leave their wi-fi unprotected so that neighbors could jump on. However, another source warned this could potentially cause trouble if someone accessing your wi-fi were doing something illegal. Also, wireless network trespassing, where you use another’s wi-fi without permission, is a crime. An antenna that could pick up wi-fi from 5 miles around was also mentioned to me, but I don’t know the particulars of how that works, and apparently, in New York City, there are 50 or more open wi-fi connections in any given building.
What about right here in Lee County? Is anyone willing to step up to the plate and provide wi-fi or another service to the poorer households? Well, I don’t know. I’m looking into it. And it seems like the answer is yes, but we need more people. Hint, hint.
And also, never mind the poorer people, how about everybody?
There are really good reasons for people to have the internet. Apparently, it promotes democracy, learning, atheism, and trolling. ( Trolling inevitably leads to people with serious social problems being heaped with derision and shamed into non-participation. Sometimes, they become fearsome monsters and are relegated to dungeons (YouTube channels and such) where other denizens of their ilk gather, and they collectively feast upon cognitive dung. All of which is a great public service.) But we shouldn’t be making more powerful corporations, which have become famous in the United States for robbing the public till in various ways (global warming, pollution, bailouts, subsidies, tax cuts, etc), should we?
We need internet for the people, by the people, but not made of people, that’s just weird.
So, get cracking, activist geeks. Or hacking. Or coding. As the case might be…