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The broadband cap is a human rights issue. Capping it stunts progress.

Here you go:

1. The best way to look at the broadband cap issue is not from a technology perspective but from the perspective of human rights. Before the printing press was invented, the struggle between English and the French / Latin languages was tipped when most of the learned clergy died during the bubonic plague. Since Latin and French were the languages spoken by the few and the learned, only people of the Church were allowed to speak it. The clergy was put in charge of tending to plague victims and hence, also succumbed to it and perished. It was the same with whatever written manuscripts there were — only read and understood by the enlightened, until Wycliffe decided to translate the bible into English. Because of this tip, English prevailed as the new language of the western world since everyone that mattered was dead from the plague. The spoken word, the printing press, and today, the Internet are examples of prime movers – of mediums of communication. Capping it would similar to cutting off your tongue or denying the right to free speech. Very dark ages. If you hamper the medium, you stunt culture. I thought we were all about nation building.

The broadband cap is a last stand effort to cry out, giving existing telcos a chance to compete using sub-par products with attractive marketing lures. I’d go as far as saying that this happens in other industries that eventually translate to policy: the open skies program of the DOT which was heavily criticized by the “old guard” in an effort to save Philippine Airlines from competition. Hr hr hr.

2. On the subject of “illegal downloads” this is a faulty argument. I for one spend money to legally download torrents from legitimate online stores such as Steam and Games for Windows and Battle.net. Sure, people do download illegally. But so do government institutions. Dicks. Implement a policy that rewards people who download legally. Today, downloading 1GB updates is common. Imagine a 5GB / day cap. With crappy Internet, you probably need to download the same file more than 5x without a download manager. Before you know it, you’ve used up your limit because of Internet that doesn’t deliver. So many local businesses need more than 5GB / day. What year are we in? 2001? I don’t know about you — but netizens who are all for the broadband cap live really boring lives online.

3. Am I willing to pay more for better Internet? Of course. But in a country where the “best Internet” is laughable, it is very justified to have providers man up first. You know what? Maybe it should happen. So that new players can come in to offer something much better than the BS we have to cope with.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

15 replies on “The broadband cap is a human rights issue. Capping it stunts progress.”

That’s just crazy. I swear. The Internet is the greatest thing ever and then they think of crap to just…I can’t even say it. Sigh.

1. Saying its similar to cutting your tongue or denying free speech is a stretch. Im all for uncapped internet access, but this is a privilege and not a right. I don’t think you’ll download 1Gb of updates everyday. If you do then maybe you should download updates more often to lessen its size or you need to replace the software altogether. Maybe people who don’t use up all of their daily cap do have a better life? There is another life outside your front door you know? 🙂

2. You have to admit that majority of internet users in PH do download pirated stuff. Im pretty sure there are business grade internet plans.

3. I agree.

@anon

1. It is similar in the sense that freedom of speech was curtailed in the past via cutting off of the tongue, burning of books and death. Today, we are less barbaric. back in the 80’s bill gates said that all we ever need is 640kb of RAM. Today we’re up to a 8GB standard on performance notebooks. The “boring” explanation is self evident really. There’s so much you can do online. If for instance you’re up for downloading a game via Steam, you’ll more than likely spend 8GB worth. That’s well above the cap. What about other things that you need to do? As for privilege vs right, 1 MBPS Internet access is now a basic human right in France.

Being informed through vigilant and outspoken citizens like you keeps us from the dark ages of consumer rights in the so called “Modern CyberCentury”

Being informed through vigilant and outspoken citizens like you keeps us (away) from the dark ages of consumer rights in the so called “Modern CyberCentury”

France declared internet access a right. They didn’t declared uncapped internet access a right. Also, they were talking about the minimum speed of internet access that a provider has to offer and not the amount of data subscribers use. There’s a big difference. Unlike in the PH, they don’t have a problem of a low cap because their infrastructure can handle large bandwidth of data.

Another country’s law is irrelevant and not always applicable to another country. Case in point, some countries have laws that declare homosexuality a disease and punishable by imprisonment, even death.

Essentially you are paying for a service and are limited by the capacity of the company to provide a good service for all it’s customers. That’s why they call it internet service providers. You are privileged enough to be able to pay for that service.

Gates didn’t say that to curtail progress. He said that because that’s what all he thought we would need. But because of technological breakthroughs we were able to go past that.

There are people who have this sense of self entitlement that they don’t see the bigger picture. They forget that their rights end when you step on other people’s rights. Its a balancing act that everyone has to tiptoe.

Great discussion! We agree to disagree!

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