Net Neutrality and why the FCC’s new rules matter

I was overjoyed to hear that the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt new rules that treat broadband internet as a utility, much like telephones.  The basic purpose of this would be to guarantee that internet service providers are neutral in terms of treating all customers and web content equally, and not favoring those who can pay more money or slowing down those that pay less.  It means that a cable company can’t slow down the traffic to their competitors’ websites.   It assures that the Internet remains a generally level playing field, so small businesses and start-ups don’t get squashed by huge corporate competitors who can afford to pay more to have their own service prioritized.  And critically for people like me who have complained incessantly about being at the mercy of a few big telecoms when it comes to broadband service, it also means that it will become easier to get more choices, especially if those choices mean expanding municipal broadband service where they were previously banned by state laws favoring those big telecom companies.

And yet, there are those who are still opposed to it and will fight this tooth and nail.  Needless to say, I am not a fan of those people.  But I am encouraged by the fact that so many people thought net neutrality would fail, and they turned out to be wrong.

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Municipal broadband for Cambridge?

Oh, please please please let it happen.  We did notice a question about our internet service on our last resident survey so it got us thinking about it again.

As some of you may have noticed, Kelly and I have had repeated issues with the quality of our Internet service here in Cambridge over the years.  It is something that both of us care deeply about as both of us have worked in IT and both of us are everyday users of the Internet for personal and business purposes.  But considering that we live in what I would consider the technology capital of the East Coast, the quality and quantity of Internet service providers is terrible, frankly. Cambridge considers itself a major center for innovation and it certainly is, but it is also somewhat ridiculous that for many people Internet connectivity is both expensive and unreliable.

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Internet in Greater Boston – fewer options for more money

Greater Boston, and especially our home of Cambridge, is undoubtedly one of the technology capitals of the United States, and certainly of the East Coast.   And yet Kelly and I have struggled for years to find a decent, reliable Internet provider for a reasonable price.  Currently we are using Comcast, because we simply could not get reliable service from Verizon no matter how hard we tried.  It was depressing, but at least we figured it probably wouldn’t get any worse.

And then earlier this week I read that our Internet/phone/cable provider, Comcast, is going through yet another merger.

Sigh.  No good can come from this.

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Fall is here… so long, summer…

And don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

Seriously, I have been wanting summer to go away for some time now, and not just because fall is my favorite season.  Largely because I am tired of being hot all the time.  Sure, we have some window AC units at home, but it is still not as cool in the house as I would like.  And my major place of employment is an 18th century building with no AC.

But I always try to find silver linings.

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Sorry for the radio silence

I realized today that we haven’t posted here since the end of February.  We’re going to try to not let that happen again.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.

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Some good old fashioned Phone Phreaking

Those of you who call our home number (not the numbers on our resume and not one I will post here) may notice something different about our voice mail.  We’ve changed the message to make it a deterrent to auto-dialers and telemarketers.

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