The Internet has certainly grown in our 25 years of service to Yakima. When growth begins it’s always innocent and new. Now it’s not innocent at all and everyone is starting to grasp the technical side as the youth move up in age. I have always been an active player in the guidance that government has played in our growth. There’s a fine line where regulations are intrusive to the growth of the Internet and it’s our job as Internet Providers to make sure that federal and state regulators don’t get carried away with controlling the Internet. A new bill proposed by Governor Inslee was proposed and it was a horrible special interest driven bill, I’ve been a big part of toning down that bill to be fair even if our state tends to always over reach in regulations. All that Net Neutrality has accomplished is a lot of unnecessary paperwork and no enforcement of the bad players, like we thought it would be.
I have traveled many times over the past 7 years to Washington D.C. and am on first name basis with the FCC Commissioners and others at NTIA and USDA agencies and while I’ve never taken government money for any of my projects I want to make sure the growth of the Internet continues to be organic without these agencies picking the winners by subsidizing large corporate Internet companies who use much of their grants to give their stockholders bonuses instead of doing the promised “Digital Divide” build-outs. The threat of them building right over the top of my service is a very real threat and one I argue with great passion.
There is no such thing as getting easy new bandwidth anymore so we’re watching the existing spectrum fill up with both ethical and unethical players to the point that I sadly joke that 5ghz is becoming “junk spectrum”. That’s why we are building a more wired Internet experience in rural Yakima county.
One of the big problems is that the content providers have become so large and dominant in our daily life that it affects everything we do. It’s nothing new, I remember when Wireless Internet was only 1 Megabit per second (mbps) then Netflix came along and we had to completely rebuild our networks, then Microsoft made online gaming go from under a meg to up to 10 mbps, every new application requires we continue to rebuild for more capacity. Amazon recently surprised us by making their new Fire Stick ONLY run on 5ghz, that hurt since we always recommend that you turn off your 5ghz Routers to not interfere with our signal. That will be a problem.
Lastly people are getting really upset over the controversies of opinions expressed on social media. Recently a Meme I saw was vicious and mean, not where we need to go if we want the Internet to continue it’s acceptance in general society. Because of this I found Mark Zuckerberg’s email address and sent him this email:
I hope this finds you well. If you do get eyes on this I just wanted to note that the hole that Facebook is digging is harming everyone involved. It’s my feel that your company needs to take a proactive PR approach, I think running commercials that educate the public on how to screen bad materials matter, I’d run this commercial if I were you:
“We at Facebook have to face a lot of challenges, as fans of the First Amendment we never want to appear to be stopping anyone from expressing their personal beliefs. With that said we reserve the right to not tolerate hate speech and when we can catch clearly false and misleading content that will be removed, but we can’t catch it all.
Our users also have the responsibility to treat messages and Memes like they would email, sometimes it’s just junk and should be quickly removed without the unnecessary flame war. We want your Facebook experience to be about positive experiences and we’ll help all we can but you can help by doing your part to dismiss and delete offensive posts and move on to the best of Facebook”
Anyway I think it would shed a positive light on your product and just like the old commercials that said “it’s after 10pm, do you know where your children are” sometimes the public needs to be reminded how to use their brain. Just my input.
President – Washington Broadband, Inc.
All we can do is continue to fight all the special interests and corruptors of this amazing new media, use common sense, and be willing to block what we don’t like, erase what irritates us, and be able to just say “next” so we can move on to making sure the Internet is the tool that we need to be a better educated and in-touch society.