Giving Away The Internets

Such a strange new world we find ourselves in. Something that was once a sought after commodity is now cheap currency on the world market. It used to be that the thing itself was worth something, but now everyone is just giving it away.

When did we start giving away the Internet? Who decided that we couldn't charge for this anymore? Why is everyone convinced that free Internet is what we need more of in this world? Not that I'm complaining. Well, maybe I am.

Do you remember the sound of dial-up? That sweet minute or so of anticipation while you waited with bated breath for the connection protocols to finish their handshake?

"Hello, sir"
"Good morning!"
"I'm looking for 33.6k"
"Sorry best I can do is 3200 baud"
"Ah.. are you sure? I can try back later?"
"No, no... that's the best we can do."
"Alright. Shake on it?"
"Agreed. Welcome to the Internet"

And then you were on the Internet and all else was near utopia. Chatting with people halfway around the world, electronic mail and text based gaming. Could the world possibly get any better? For me this experience cost me plenty. @ 16 I bought an AST computer for $2,100 from Circuit City.  I paid for my own phone line in my bedroom and paid monthly for my Prodigy service. And it was worth every red cent it cost me.

Now here we are in 2012 just giving it away.

Yesterday I spent most of the day setting up free WiFi in our buildings. Free. No strings attached. You connect, you get on and then browse the web for nothing. No $2100 computer, no phone line no prodigy service.

What do they think people in my office are going to use this for? Edification? Looking up facts for clients? Searches for how to replace commas in Excel spreadsheets with a return carriage? No. They can already do that on our corporate Internet connection. They will use free Internet browsing for all those things we are blocking on our corporate LAN. A direct stream to all the stuff I spend months of time try to protect the network from.

Who needs anti-virus, anti-spam, web filtering and IPS level protection when folks can now connect their corporate computers to the free Internet and get all that unhindered via the free Wi-fi?

Because people need the Internet, for checking Facebook, Googling pictures of Abraham Lincoln and reading stupid blogs...

No comments: