I viscerally hate American ISPs. There’s a tiny county in Washington state called Ephrata that has their own small local fiber optic company that provides 5, 6 times the national average for less money than Comcast’s premium rates. Most of the server farms are built up there because of it. We’re literally being held back and falling behind E Asian countries because of a bunch of greedy corporate dirtbags who buy off our know-nothing politicians. Urban areas don’t have ISP competition because all the infrastructure is in place and it’s too expensive, regulated, or both to try and challenge the current local ISP hegemon. Rural areas don’t have ISP competition because there’s not enough people there for competitors to justify building new infrastructure at a loss. Everyone gets fucked and the ISPs sit on decrepit networks sucking up money like a leech on the national body.
Now, with all this anti-net neutrality horseshit they’re trying to change the laws and make it WORSE. Make it so that they can throttle or simply deny everything that you try to load that isn’t in your plan like we’re regressing back to fucking cable TV.
The speed of data is paramount to any online activity you engage in. For most people, that’s streaming video or playing multiplayer games. However it also affects the speeds that, for example, future automated cars could network at. Or remote surgery. Anything that involves data transfer that isn’t in a bunch of server farms hooked up with fiber-optics is affected by the national average.
Even if you shill out a billion dollars, or however much it would be, to put down a fiber-optics cable to your mansion, you would still be affected- because national averages affect design. The worst part for games isn’t even the throttling that’s practiced- it’s the fact national average internet speeds dictate multiplayer game design. Want 128, or even 256 person severs for a multiplayer game? Well too bad the national infrastructure is shit, and doing so would cut out too large of the consumer base. It might work in South Korea. The big companies like Google don’t care enough to force change because all their data is zipping around server farms on fiber optics.
The only bright side is that this is driving cellular wireless network development and when they role out 5G in 2020 some are hyping >1 Gbps for 4K video. God only knows how much it will cost.
When I look at the modern political landscape I feel like I’m trapped in a madhouse in between greedy backwards ingrates who are irrationally resistant to change, and a bunch of loony idiots who think that “progress” comes in the form of spending institutional and political capital on having black lesbians be put in charge of Comcast and Verizon.