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Some people – indeed many people – feel that the Internet should be a fundamental utility and be handled in a similar way to other basic utilities.

I find it hard to disagree with that, but in many respects, I feel it already is.

Firstly, there’s the confusing choice of providers. Different plans, different periods, different contracts, different connection and disconnection rates, requirements, equipment and areas. Like trying to figure out your best deals for water, gas or electricity, the providers make sure that their packages are like comparing alpacas and asteroids, all the while putting rates and numbers in their advertising that are largely mooted by other factors.

Then there’s the confusing bills. Having signed up with your remora-of-choice, you’ll need to deal with a bill layout largely designed by people who don’t understand the services and packages that they’re billing for, or the meanings of most of the words. Reminds me of my water bill already.

And then there’s the rest: Over-priced, under-provisioned, not always available where you want it in the quantities you want it, governed by an erratic and indifferent regulatory framework, prone to mysterious service outages, but billed with rock-solid and unwavering reliability.

Sure sounds like a utility to me!

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Categories: Opinion.

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