Internet costs and Power Companies.

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Internet costs and Power Companies.


I am confused again. The world changes faster than I can keep up. This article is being written to an internet site that offers distribution to the world wide web. We don’t charge anything for people to come here and browse around. But someone does. I am trying to understand the complexity of costs to access the internet.

Let’s try an analogy to electricity. There is a coal fired electric power plant about fifty miles from where I live. The service to my home is provided by our local ‘power company.’ When I use electricity, my local company measures how much I use and they bill me for my use. There is no flat rate for service, sort of a pay as you go system. I suppose the local power company then pays the coal plant for the electricity they pass on to their customers.

Accessing the internet is not so simple. It is a little confusing because the ‘internet’ is not a centralized location like the coal fired electrical plant. In one session on the internet I might visit 50 different sites – that is to say, 50 different servers – or we might say 50 different power plants. Each of those sites has advertising or they sell products or some other means of generating revenue to pay for their infrastructure and efforts.

So here is my problem – it feels like I am paying at least twice for the same service. I have to pay a cable company or a telephone company for wires, then I have to pay an “Internet Provider” to connect me to the internet, and then I pay at each site I visit by tolerating their advertising.

Let’s equate this to renting an apartment.  There is a electric generating power company and a local power company that bring service to the apartment building.  The apartment owner does not charge me to access the power company – that is between men and the power company.

Somehow, it feels like the internet connectivity is so convoluted that there are middle men making money and they really don’t provide any infrastructure or effort – their primary effort is in the billing department – taking my money.

Readers, help me understand this process.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. I don’t know why you pay two charges for your internet access but it doesn’t have to be so. I have a ADSL connection over a phone line but I do not pay for the phone because I do not have one; that is, I do not have a land line, I have a cell phone and find that enough. The connection I have is called a ‘dry loop’ by the phone company. I suppose I was somewhat lucky in that the apartment I live in had a phone line previously installed. Nevertheless, I don’t see why the two charges. If I wanted a phone I would pay one price for it and another for the ADSL connection but that would be two services, hence two bills. Last place I had cable for my TV and got internet service via that wire. Again, yes, there were two bills: one for TV and one for internet access but again, two services.
    As to the rest of it, that’s simply the free market at work. You can choose to follow the ads or not; enough people evidently do to make it worth while for those commercial enterprises to sponsor various websites.
    Take this blog service, do you pay for it? I see ads here so I suspect not, yet you get to use it to spread your messages to anyone who comes across it. If you did pay for it you might consider finding one that is commercially sponsored, if you like. I like the part where there is a choice, don’t you?
    You don’t actually pay at each site, you only have to ‘tolerate’ the ads or don’t go there; again a choice. You don’t have to follow the ad, you can choose to ignore it if you like. another choice.
    I have no idea how much actual money you have to pay to get onto the internet but I find it is perhaps the best deal ever offered to people. The information and convenience is incalculable, and we tend to take it for granted.
    It wasn’t so long ago, if you wanted or needed to do research on anything it would take many trips to the library and other places, perhaps the local newspaper’s archives, city hall, government centers, etc. The price of research like that, in time alone, was prohibitive for most things, not to mention that all information was not free. Making copies, even at the library, would cost so much per page; government records cost per page were not insignificant either.
    Now, from the convenience of our homes, or from wherever we like, we can research the most profound and the most trivial things with a few keystrokes, even many government records are available. Certainly not all information is free, but averaged out, it is insignificant by comparison to as little as twenty years ago.
    Do you really feel you are paying too much? There, too, you have a choice, many choices in fact, right down to eliminating the internet and driving to your local library, there are always choices.
    Now what really is a rip-off is cable TV. I pay for premium channels that in turn also have commercials. That’s paying twice for the same service, wouldn’t you agree? That needs a bit of looking into I think; but please, the internet is an amazing bargain, do not stir-up the government over it or we’ll be paying so much for it in taxes, overt and covert, that many of us would have to choose to go without. How much more ignorance do you suppose the country, or the world, can survive on?
    Just a thought…

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