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Scolding Five-year-old Adults

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 3/16/2011

THE AVERAGE CANADIAN internet user forgot what they learned in kindergarten. Either that, or kindergarten turned Ferengi since the 1970s because the average Canadian internet user forgot how to share.

I don't make the claim lightly. If the average reader is to be believed, usage-based internet billing is the end of free speech, the end of free commerce and the end of the free world, all wrapped into one. It's fire and brimstone, corporate greed, and many other evil and nasty things. I can't help but wonder when these people forgot what they learned at Age 5.

THIS THING CALLED 'INTERNET' exists for sharing. It was for sharing between military networks upon its creation, sharing between academic networks since its opening for non-military use, and sharing between commercial networks since 1992. It was always about sharing and today we continue to find new and unique ways of sharing. Everything we learned about the internet of the twenty-first century, we all learned in kindergarten. Even today, five-year-olds are scolded if they don't share the classroom computers with their classmates.

Here's my problem: The people complaining the loudest about usage-based internet billing don't run internet providers or manage corporate networks for a living. For the most part they run channels on YouTube or play games online or do other high-bandwidth things online. They are mostly users, not administrators. They don't maintain the cables, they don't manage the networks, they don't kick spammers off their connections or deal with BitTorrent traffic.

Ask a construction worker on the highway what they think of angry or distracted drivers, and you'll get my feelings on the average Canadian internet user about now.

YOU NEED SCOLDING just like the five-year-old hogging the classroom computer, if you launch some high bandwidth app and believe your internet connection is more important than your neighbour's. I don't like what major internet providers are doing to average Canadians, but I don't like what average Canadians are doing to each other, even more.

If you're going to complain about Bell, if you're going to complain about the CRTC, fine. But before you do, spend a day in my shoes managing traffic for two hundred to twenty-five hundred customers first. Or if you can't get an IT job because you're too busy downloading movies, buy a T1 and share it with twenty-nine neighbours, and wait until one of them lights up a peer-to-peer node. Then come back to me.

Let's share this resource so everyone benefits, just like we learned in kindergarten. Maybe then, usage-based billing will become obsolete.

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