How the FCC could be like TSA: proposal to create an Internet fast lane

How the FCC could be like TSA: proposal to create an Internet fast lane

Using money to privilege convenience may be the American ethic. And it's a far cry from the egalitarianism exemplified in "all men are created equal." Look at the TSA and its "precheck" program, for example. With TSA precheck, you pay $85 and cough up your biometrics and an application for government review. If you don't have a prison record, you can probably get your own ID, a Known Traveler Number (KTN), and move to the front of the airport check-in line, an inconvenience that yields negligible risk reduction. In a hurry but not in a car pool? Just pay a "toll" in many states and you can drive in the HOV lane even though you're in a SOV. But what if you wanted to send a present via FedX to your best friend, and she had to also pay FedX so that it would deliver to her expeditiously? Would we…continue reading →

U.S. broadband is costly and continues to lag the world

Yet another report highlights that U.S. broadband (aka "high speed internet") is overpriced and underperforms relative to the rest of the world. This report is from the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. Meanwhile, in larger U.S. cities, we continue to observe higher prices for slower speeds by comparison. In the U.S., for example, the best deal for a 150 Mbps home broadband connection from cable and phone companies is $130/month, offered by Verizon FiOS. By contrast, the international cities we surveyed offer comparable speeds for less than $80/month, with most coming in at about $50/month. When it comes to mobile broadband, the cheapest price for around 2 GB of data in the U.S. ($30/month from T-Mobile) is twice as much as what users in London pay ($15/month from T-Mobile). It costs more to purchase 2 GB of data in a U.S. city than it does in any of the…continue reading →

Speed Up Your Internet Connection By Changing Your DNS Server

One common recommendation to speed up your Internet connection is to change your default DNS (Domain Name System) server. The DNS server is an important factor in how speedy your Net connection feels. That's because when you type an address into the URL bar, such as Google.com or Bing.com, your computer and router don't know where those servers live. They need the IP (internet protocol) address, which is a series of numbers. If your computer does not have this information cached, then the DNS server acts as an interpreter, converting human-readable URLs into machine addresses. …continue reading →