Only 'Radical' Fixes Can Save Our Crappy Internet
Gizmodo's Adam Clark Estes sees hope in startup ISPs, city-run networks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2015 12:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – America's Internet isn't just slow, it's "slow and expensive," writes Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo. In a post that unpacks how the Internet operates—from its physical infrastructure, to the financial deals that direct traffic, to the technically antiquated "last mile" that brings service into your home—Estes comes to a "harsh reality" about our network: It's "fundamentally broken, and there's no easy fix." Progress on net neutrality isn't enough, especially when the big carriers operate as a monopolies. But Estes sees hope in "radical approaches" such as the startup ISPs and municipal broadband networks that are starting to crop up.

In San Francisco, for example, an ISP called Monkeybrains uses "roof-mounted wireless connections and direct fiber access to data centers" to provide ultra-fast Internet. Customers have to shell out about $250 in equipment to start, but they pay $35 a month after that. More cities, meanwhile, could borrow the example of Chattanooga, which built its own network and operates it as a sort of public utility. "At the end of the day, America's broken Internet isn't going to fix itself," writes Estes. "Monopolistic problems deserve capitalistic solutions. In this case, it's competition—pure and simple." Click for the full post.