Is Internet access becoming important enough that it should be a public utility?
Would we better off to remove the profit motive or would the danger of political abuse be too great? The United Nations has said that blocking Internet access is a violation of international law; is it that important to modern society and if so, should we be providing it to all citizens?
Oh that's tricky! I don't want the government providing me internet access, as their corporations that control the members of the house and senate have already shown us how they'd like to do that, control it, censor it, etc.
....but I do think that internet access ought to be available for everyone.
I think it should available to all. As to the logistics, I don't know. The profit motive is about to destroy our planet, so I am fine with eliminating it in certain areas.
I don't think it really matters if the government has control over internet access or not, if they want to censor it, they're going to censor it. If it was a utility, welfare would have to include it in their consideration for financial assistance and you'd be able to apply for emergency assistance through the county of residence like you do for electric, water and rent. I think for those who have lost their jobs and are on welfare, but are actively searching for work, it would be a necessity and welfare should cover it. But for those who just milk the system, it would be one more thing the government has to pay out, draining money that could go to those who really need it. Aside from that issue, I think making it a public utility would slow advancements in technology simply because there is no competition. So, while it would benefit us in regards to cost, I'm not sure it's a great idea.
I worry about the government providing and thus having control over the internet, especially in countries that that are not fully democratic. Not that politic abuse doesn't happen everywhere. But in countries where there is unrest, this could be a real problem.
The internet is too important for the government to get involved. The reason the internet is the most fantastic information resource ever invented is because the government has stayed out of it. The danger of political abuse is too great, e.g. SOPA.
In the world we live in the internet is as important as electricity do to all the businesses including the government going to automated customer service systems. This is why there should be some type of basic service the US citizens can use no matter what there income levels are. You still can have a paid service for those how need really fast broadband services but something that the lowest income person in the country can afford is a must.
Yes, but we pay for public utilities, so what would the difference be? Maybe wealth distribution could be better managed from grass-roots pressure rather than a government run Internet system. No-one trusts governments these days.
I could see this in the future possibly 15 or 20 years. Everyone would need a computer of some type in their home. As a local utility or a national utility with Internet access being blocked is a question as to how much and what? Porn? Purchasing of guns? Occult websites? Prescription drugs? There's a lot of ground to cover with the Internet. Do you think it is out-of-control now?
I do not want the government providing internet for me either. However, if it becomes a necessity and everyone needs it then may be it could be empowering that the government aids those who cannot have it. And doubtless, if they provide, they will have control in a large way!
There are plenty of ways to access the internet for free (or at least low cost enough) for anyone to have.
A) public libraries have plenty of computers and high speed internet connections - granted you can't sit there hour upon hour watching youtube videos if there are others who also want to use the computers, but for paying bills, job searches, etc. etc. it is more than adequate.
B) type in "Free Internet Access" (without the quotes) into google - you will see plenty of extremely low cost internet service providers listed. Netzero has a 9.95$ per month unlimited plan for instance.
C) ask a friend or family member if you can come over to use their internet connection. I'm NOT saying steal internet access from your friends or neighbors, I'm talking about asking them if you can from time to time come over and connect to their internet with their knowledge.
D) coffee shops and cafe's usually have free internet access in order to draw in customers. most of them don't require you to actually buy anything, but respect the establishments rules if they do require you to make a purchase before giving you the login info.
The point I am trying to make here is that there are a lot of different options for getting access to the internet - and not one of them involves getting the government more involved or turning private companies into public utilities (which is the entirely opposite direction you would want to go by the way)
If the goal is to open up the availability of the internet across the country for everyone in every income bracket - then let internet service providers compete across the country. Just like auto insurance companies. Not in specific and tightly regulated areas where they are a limited monopoly as it is now.
When in doubt, think of this:
Less regulation equals more choice.
More choice equals more competition.
More competition equals better service and lower prices for everyone.
It should be free wireless, and google is working on the substructure now, to make that happen in the next couple of years.
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