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pantodragon

Isn't a "free" internet wonderful?

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One of the selling points of the internet is that it is “free” and, furthermore, the truth of this is a generally held belief. (This is not actually the case; internet costs are there, but they are hidden and difficult to trace. However, for the purposes of this post, let’s take the general view that the internet is, to all intents and purposes, free.)

I am going to make a prophesy: the internet will not be “free” for much longer i.e. users will be charged for using it.

How do I arrive at this conclusion? By experience.

Some readers will remember the time when one dealt with one’s insurance companies, utility companies etc, by snail mail. When business decided it wanted customers to abandon snail mail for contact by telephone, among other encouragements provided was free contact telephone numbers (0800 numbers in the UK). As business habituated us to using the telephone, it set about removing any avenue of retreat for customers reluctant to use the phone and once this had been achieved, it introduced customer telephone charges. Now, not only does one pay for a once “free” telephone service, but when one contacts a utility or insurance company the call has been considerably lengthened by the inclusion of company advertising and the automation of operator services etc – all at additional cost to you.

So, that’s how business works. When it decides to change customer habits it first offers a “free” alternative. As customers increasingly make use of use this new, “free” alternative, business gradually removes any avenue of retreat. Once the new practice is firmly established, business then slaps on hefty charges which the customer is then forced to pay.

This is exactly what is happening with the internet at the moment. Business is currently going about forcing customers to use the internet, so it persuades us by offering a “free”, “more convenient” alternative to the phone etc. Now it is becoming increasingly difficult to use anything but the internet i.e. avenues of retreat are gradually being removed. It will not be long, therefore, before we are paying up-front charges to use the internet.

Oh, and while I’m about it, another internet prophesy….

Another selling point for the internet is that it brings down barriers. For example, people can publish their writing, music etc for free i.e. without having to go through a publisher. And, indeed, some people have attracted the attention of publishers/agents and forged successful careers for themselves by self-publishing on sites such as YouTube. What people fail to realise, however, is that this is a trap. It will not be long before publishers will not touch an author BEFORE they have become a success on the internet. That way the risk to the publisher is reduced to a minimum and, moreover, most of the publisher’s work is passed on to the author. So, less work for the publisher, fewer risks, and more profits.

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Where, in the world, do you not have to pay for internet right now?

Are you highjacking someones paid line or something? And then thinking up some silly philosophy where you make not very thought through connections ... oh boy.... not another one of you.

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Of course we have to pay for the internet. First we have to buy a computer or other device. Then we have to pay for the connection. We also have to put up with advertisements (a sort of cost) and buy much of the software we use. All sorts of "premium" services also cost extra, and generally the free versions aren't worth much.

Even the electricity we use to run the computer has a cost.

The internet is a tremendous boon for international-type people who want to stay in contact with people around the world, so email, which can be had for free provided its personal use only, and cloud data storage and certain low cost, but hardly free for business uses like e-phone services are great and a huge advance over what we use to have to put up with. I also like listening to my favorite music stations, generally PBS in the States.

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I have all ways had to pay for the internet. Other then when it first came out and was only a black screen with white letter typing. Then came the dial up modem, and AOL. I can not remember what I had to pay, but I had to for the service....DSL and Cable came, and so did more providers.

I do not know of anywhere that is free, other then " internet cafe's ", and even then, the service is paid for to the provider by the owner.

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The internet is not free, you pay for it from your subscription

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Internet Freedom of Speech regulation is the new cool thing going around.

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@title yes free internet is wonderful so lets keep it that way

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Posted (edited)

The internet is not free, you pay for it from your subscription

I have a wireless internet connection, and I live in a congested neighborhood.

Many people here also have wireless connections, and I can view about 8-10 on my computers.

2 of them are totally unsecured, and as a test, I have been able to piggy-back their connection(I guess their close enough for a strong signal)

But I won't drop my paid subscription and piggy-back theirs, because that's stealing. And their available bandwith, which they pay for, is cut in half when I do so. I would not want that done to me.

EDIT: I'm not suggesting the OP is doing this, I'm just adding to the conversation.

Edited by pallidin

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I have a wireless internet connection, and I live in a congested neighborhood.

Many people here also have wireless connections, and I can view about 8-10 on my computers.

2 of them are totally unsecured, and as a test, I have been able to piggy-back their connection(I guess their close enough for a strong signal)

But I won't drop my paid subscription and piggy-back theirs, because that's stealing. And their available bandwith, which they pay for, is cut in half when I do so. I would not want that done to me.

EDIT: I'm not suggesting the OP is doing this, I'm just adding to the conversation.

i know, when i moved house we didn't have our own because there was hardly any signal, it was only for a day anyway

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I'm definitely not saying I agree with the original poster, but I do think he is confusing the 'internet' (or a connection to the internet at least) and the 'World Wide Web'.

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Posted (edited)

I think it's quite easy to feel that it's an illusion having free Internet.

It's all set up and you take things for granted.

But to get to that stage you need plenty of money.

The PC or laptop can't suddenly go walkies from Comet to your house.

However the Internet costs are so slight they might as well be invisible.

Until your computer gets infected with Malware or a Trojan.

Or you need to attach some gizmo if you've interrupted a download.

You can't avoid a service provider in a Wi- Fi hotspot.

But it's only his first week after all.

Edited by Medium Brown

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It may be that he is using the word "free" to mean free of regulation and censorship rather than free of charge. Compared to the broadcast and published media in a lot of countries, the internet is remarkably free that way, and has become just about the only way a lot of people get news they feel is not state manipulated.

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It may be that he is using the word "free" to mean free of regulation and censorship rather than free of charge. Compared to the broadcast and published media in a lot of countries, the internet is remarkably free that way, and has become just about the only way a lot of people get news they feel is not state manipulated.

In that case then it's pretty good for a first week.

Who would have thought he was going on about freedom of choice.

But when you have a ponder like you have it's glaringly obvious.

However if you look back a few pages on this sub- forum you'll see the first signs of censorship.

It's to do with a certain little social network called Facebook.

So the news might not be state manipulated now on the Internet now.

Who's to say though that the powers to be might feel the need to suppress info.

Let's hope the little guys hold out and continue to report how it is.

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Posted (edited)

Some readers will remember the time when one dealt with one’s insurance companies, utility companies etc, by snail mail. When business decided it wanted customers to abandon snail mail for contact by telephone, among other encouragements provided was free contact telephone numbers (0800 numbers in the UK). As business habituated us to using the telephone, it set about removing any avenue of retreat for customers reluctant to use the phone and once this had been achieved, it introduced customer telephone charges. Now, not only does one pay for a once “free” telephone service, but when one contacts a utility or insurance company the call has been considerably lengthened by the inclusion of company advertising and the automation of operator services etc – all at additional cost to you.

Still plenty of free-call numbers in Australia mate. You're getting ripped!

When I was in Europe I had a 24 hour free international number I could ring from even my mobile, to approve purchases over a set amount on my credit card. That ain't bad.

And the disclosure statements and privacy statements are all there to protect consumers...

Edit: Forgot a word :/

Edited by Timonthy

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Where, in the world, do you not have to pay for internet right now?

Are you highjacking someones paid line or something? And then thinking up some silly philosophy where you make not very thought through connections ... oh boy.... not another one of you.

You need to read my post more carefully - you have obviously misunderstood it.

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Of course we have to pay for the internet. First we have to buy a computer or other device. Then we have to pay for the connection. We also have to put up with advertisements (a sort of cost) and buy much of the software we use......................................................, but hardly free for business uses like e-phone services are great and a huge advance over what we use to have to put up with. I also like listening to my favorite music stations, generally PBS in the States.

You can use the internet in your local library. The last time I used WiiFi in a local cafe it was free. In countries like India it is, I believe, government policy to take the internet to villages where they can't afford it for themselves. At school, children and adults have free access. I heard recently that the UK government is considering making the internet available to all its citizens since it is becoming impossible to live without it. Of course, all this "free" is illusory. One has to pay taxes and so on. There is loads of "free" stuff on the internet: games, films, assorted software, forums, blogs, numerous free website builders, encyclopaedias, books etc, etc..

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I'm definitely not saying I agree with the original poster, but I do think he is confusing the 'internet' (or a connection to the internet at least) and the 'World Wide Web'.

Technically you are correct, but I do think that the terms are not distinct in common usage. In fact, I do not think that ordianry people talk of the WWW. Therefore, I am using "the internet" in the loose way that is commonly understood by ordinary people.

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Posted (edited)

You can use the internet in your local library. The last time I used WiiFi in a local cafe it was free. In countries like India it is, I believe, government policy to take the internet to villages where they can't afford it for themselves. At school, children and adults have free access. I heard recently that the UK government is considering making the internet available to all its citizens since it is becoming impossible to live without it. Of course, all this "free" is illusory. One has to pay taxes and so on. There is loads of "free" stuff on the internet: games, films, assorted software, forums, blogs, numerous free website builders, encyclopaedias, books etc, etc..

So your hypothesis is that "free internet" will only be available in your local cafe (which incidentally is paid for by the owner of that cafe, who gets their money back via other services, eg coffee)..... or in places like India, in which case your Opening Post must become very important when those who are from India start getting charged for their emails to Internet Service Providers......

.... Ummmm, scratch that last, actually.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Still plenty of free-call numbers in Australia mate. You're getting ripped!

When I was in Europe I had a 24 hour free international number I could ring from even my mobile, to approve purchases over a set amount on my credit card. That ain't bad.

And the disclosure statements and privacy statements are all there to protect consumers...

Edit: Forgot a word :/

My point was the freebies are the bait they use to reel you in. If you have a freebie now (which, of course, isn't actually free -- you ARE paying for it somewhere) you can bet that somewhere along the line, when they've got you hooked or when they've cut off all the alternatives, they'll suddenly start charging --- that's business. Lie and cheat and steal from the customer. Just don't let him know you're doing it. People used to know this, but business has done such a successful white-washing of its image (donating to charities (actually the customer is donating to charities), being classed as ethical, or environmentally friendly etc) that people have forgotten this truth.

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To all: None of you have actually addressed the point I was making. You have all gone off --- I am tempted to think you're trying to shoot me down rather than enter into any sort of debate or discussion --- so you are looking for "angles". The other possibility is that you just don't understand enough.

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Your theory doesn't really pan out. With the internet (and the Web), prices are actually being brought down across the board, for a variety of reasons. You are talking about the 'internet' as though it is some sort of conspiracy, where all the creators and developers are in on a plan to squeeze money from the masses. Actually, no offence, but from your posts, it's clear that you have no actual grasp on what the internet (or the Web) is.

I would start on Wikipedia articles regarding the internet and the Web, then have a look at http://www.w3.org/ and the relevant section of http://www.ieee.org/index.html

Otherwise, your postings are nothing more than trolling.

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Trolling is deliberately taking an irritating position just to be irritating. He does irritate me, but I don't think he's doing it deliberately.

We are all hooked on the internet; even those who don't use it. Modern commerce and banking and all sorts of things now depend on it. Can you imagine doing business without email? So he has his point. The trouble is that there is no scheme here to hook us and then reel us in. The opposite in fact. The more we use it the cheaper it gets, if for no reason other than economies of scale.

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Posted (edited)

To all: None of you have actually addressed the point I was making. You have all gone off --- I am tempted to think you're trying to shoot me down rather than enter into any sort of debate or discussion --- so you are looking for "angles". The other possibility is that you just don't understand enough.

What point are you making? You spoke of a free internet, but the internet isn't free, we pay for it through monthly subscription, or buy a pre paid card. Even the free wifi spots are paid for by the company who owns the connection (the cafe owner who wants you there buying coffee and lunch, for example).

Since we're already paying, are you saying they're going to start charging us more (perhaps a service fee for accessing an email account)? Won't happen. The public outrage of paying to access after we're already paying to access will destroy any goodwill the company has.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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The main reason it won't happen is because anyone trying to charge a fee would lose all their customers to competitors overnight. The incremental cost of providing the service is not great enough to prevent this, even if all existing providers got together on a fee, new providers would appear.

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You need to read my post more carefully - you have obviously misunderstood it.

Hilarious how you're ranting on like you've discovered electricity.

You think you're smart because you've revealed the purpose of taxes?

Lol, so what ... all you're life you've been walking around thinking roads just appear without expense for your comfort? Policemen and women are just a friendly bunch out there to protect you; free of charge.

If you're gonna come here pretending to be a genious at least bring something interesting to talk about.

Or carry on wasting your life away thinking you're doing something useful by stating the obvious; because you simply cannot think on a higher level.

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