Summary of The Future of the Open Internet – and Our Way of Life – Is in Your Hands

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The Internet is a great equalizing force – a vast marketplace of ideas where anybody, rich or poor, can pitch a tent and attract readers. Yet, the fate of the open Internet is hanging by thread. freeCodeCamp teacher Quincy Larson warns that net neutrality regulations, which the Trump administration has vowed to repeal, are the only barrier stopping corporations that want to “burn down the Library of Alexandria and replace it with a magazine rack.” If you use the Internet, getAbstract recommends you consider Larson’s somber forecast of society in a post–net neutrality era.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Who controls the broadband Internet market in the United States,
  • Why keeping net neutrality principles is a prerequisite for keeping the Internet open and free, and
  • Why abandoning net neutrality would give corporations extraordinary power over people’s access to information.
 

About the Author

Quincy Larson is a teacher at freeCodeCamp.

 

Summary

When the telegram, the telephone, cinemas, radio, television and, most recently, the Internet went mainstream in American society, the technologies all became concentrated in the hands of one or a small number of corporations. In all six cases, these corporations succeeded at enlisting the help of government regulators to shut out competitors and solidify quasi-monopolistic positions. History teaches that only the invention of a new technology can displace old monopolies. Unlike previous communication technologies, the Internet is so versatile and all-encompassing that it’s difficult to imagine any new technology displacing it. In the United States, only three Internet service providers (ISPs) control the broadband Internet market, including satellites and underground copper cables that bring the Internet into people’s homes and offices: Comcast, Cox and Charter.

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