Tag Archives: Internet infrastructure

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Who Are the FCC Commissioners and Where Do They Side on Net Neutrality?

The war over how to regulate the internet has a key problem: the process for creating regulation is so complex that even vehement supporters and opponents of Net Neutrality and other key issues often have little knowledge of where this regulation actually comes from, or how it’s created. Interestingly, the group that’s responsible for managing these regulations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is quite small. Just five commissioners cast votes on everything from Next Gen TV standards to wireless spectrum allocation. These five commissioners have a huge impact on the lives of every American who uses the Internet — which is to say, virtually all of us, with the exception of a few hermits. In this breakdown, we’re going to… Continue reading →

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Why Is the American Internet Empire Crumbling?

The colossal labyrinth of pulses and wires we refer to as “the Internet” is sort of like the jumble of wires and plugs behind your uncle’s VCR. Sure, it works — but it’s largely improvised, and for the love of God don’t touch anything. Much like that old VCR, America’s network infrastructure is often a bit dated in terms of infrastructure. This has become increasingly clear in the past year as policy changes around Net Neutrality and regulatory standards have been riling up consumers, Internet providers, and Internet access advocacy groups alike. Overall, one thing is clear; the US has some issues when it comes to the modern innovation it helped give birth to. The heart of the trouble goes… Continue reading →

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Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Broadband, Net Neutrality, and Internet Issues

Politicians have a well-earned reputation for misunderstanding the Internet. …So it’s no surprise that candidate stances on tech issues are all over the map as we approach the 2016 presidential election. From Clinton’s email server scandal[1] to Trump’s proposal of “closing that Internet up” to fight ISIS[2], Internet users have plenty of reason to be concerned about how either candidate might alter the landscape of “InternetLand” if they take office. There’s a lot more than our YouTube addiction at stake for the American public: Net Neutrality, municipal broadband, and data privacy are all on the chopping block. Let’s take a close look at where the candidates stand on Internet and broadband issues. I’ll start with a brief overview of each… Continue reading →

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How Much Does Data Really Cost an ISP?

For consumers in the US, broadband data can be surprisingly expensive. Since the introduction of data caps, Internet subscribers have been frustrated by overage fees ranging anywhere from $0.20–$12 per gigabyte. The seemingly arbitrary fees are particularly frustrating since it’s unclear how much it actually costs an ISP to deliver that gigabyte. One thing’s for certain — it costs a lot less than the $0.20/GB fee charged by major ISPs like Comcast and AT&T. But how much does it actually cost the ISP to deliver 1GB to a customer? Calculations based on Internet transit costs, as detailed below, suggest an ISP cost per gigabyte measured in fractions of a penny. Using the $10/50GB overage fee quickly becoming standard for broadband… Continue reading →