View Poll Results: Is the internet a utility?

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  • Yes.

    15 57.69%
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    11 42.31%
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Thread: Is the Internet a utility?

  1. #21
    Advisor polisciguy's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    Land lines are not needed today and are actually quite cumbersome, in my opinion. Why have a land line if you have a cell phone?
    I agree. For me, I just use my cell. I could do without it as well.

  2. #22
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrabaholic View Post
    You pretty much do need electricity to live nowadays, especially in the winter when you need to heat your home. Most houses are not equipped for heating sources that require no power, such as wood stoves.

    The internet? No, it is not a utility, IMO.
    It might depend on where you live too. We don't need heat in Texas.

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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    10 years ago I would've said "no," but between employers who will assume the worst if you lack a Facebook, vendors and banks trying to push online account management, online employability verification, and even tax returns that must be eFiled under certain circumstances, I'd have to say it is at this point.

    The main thing, from my perspective, is neutrality. The technology was the product of government investment, improved with a lot of open-source development, and currently runs on an architecture which has seen a lot of subsidies and operates in what amounts to a monopoly. You'll see DSL and cable and satellite competing, but you aren't going to see half a dozen cable providers engaging in a similar competition. In some areas you can't get one or more of those services, further increasing competition -- for example, at my parent's house out in the sticks you couldn't get cable or digital phone service, so satellite is your only option.

    Aside from that, privacy. I want to see the government showing the same deference to Internet communications that mail and telephone conversations get (which isn't saying much at this point, I know, maybe a private discussion in the comfort of your own home is a better example).
    Hell I live in downtown Dallas, a city of several million, and my only options for internet are Time Warner Cable and AT&T's crappy DSL.

  4. #24
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    An excellent query...Utilities are 99.9% an absolute necessity.
    The internet / communications is at the same...but remove the communications (eMail and ? ) and its a luxury, IMO.

  5. #25
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Public Utility:

    Enterprise that provides certain classes of services to the public, including common-carrier transportation (buses, airlines, railroads); telephone and telegraph services; power, heat and light; and community facilities for water and sanitation. In most countries such enterprises are state-owned and state-operated; in the U.S. they are mainly privately owned, but they operate under close regulation. Given the technology of production and distribution, they are considered natural monopolies, since the capital costs for such enterprises are large and the existence of competing or parallel systems would be inordinately expensive and wasteful. Government regulation in the U.S., particularly at the state level, aims to ensure safe operation, reasonable rates, and service on equal terms to all customers. Some states have experimented with deregulation of electricity and natural-gas operations to stimulate price reductions and improved service through competition, but the results have not been universally promising.



    So while internet providers have largely supplanted/absorbed telephone (I believe nearly all telephone/cell voice/data is on the internet for interstate calls), they are not regulated (yet) to the same extent.

    So yes, internet providers are a public utility.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    It is using other utilities whether you like it or not and could not exist independent of those utilities--like electric. Where is the other end of those lines hooked up to? Satellite or the same means by which telephone or cable is delivered. There isn't a big building that generates something called "internet". The internet is a derivative of other services. It is a service delivered by appliances just like air conditioning and television content.
    Water service can't work without electricity. The purification and pumping facilities require electricity, gas, and phone service. I guess water isn't utilities either.

    Or what about the power plant. They need water, gas and phone service to operate. I guess electricity isn't a utility either.

    You fabricated a completely arbitrary and absurd definition for utilities. Everything relies on everything else. The internet has become a core utility.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    The internet is a carrier for content, as are phone and TV. The difference is that the internet is at the place technologically where it can carry ALL that content making phone and TV superfluous.

  8. #28
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    It might depend on where you live too. We don't need heat in Texas.
    No matter; Texans definitely need air conditioning, at a lot of juice is a must.
    Solar AC ?

  9. #29
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by polisciguy View Post
    I could likely live without out all three, but the phone the most. I have never liked the thought of people having the ability to just get in touch with you at any given moment. Damn Alexander Graham Bell.
    I probably like and use the phone the least and yet it's one of the more essential tools when needed. You can't set up utilities, deal with credit cards, talk to out of town relatives, etc without a telephone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    I think TV is old technology and it'll be going the way of the fax machine soon enough.

    If they were able to wire the whole country with fiber optics (and they could, if it weren't for political red tape), you could stream better-than-HD quality video online without interruption or delay.

    You could literally have access to tens of thousands of shows, on demand at any time you feel like watching, at your fingertips, in better-than-retina display using today's technology.

    You wouldn't have to "record" a show and you'd never miss anything, you'd just tell the TV what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, and it would be available to you.

    You don't have to sit and watch on your laptop either, most TV's today are internet-ready, and the televisions of tomorrow (see Apple) even more so.

    Steve Jobs once said that when he watched TV, he felt like he was looking at 20 year old technology. He was right, as usual.
    I agree the TV has become nothing but a large monitor or view screen and the 3 major Networks part of a huge system of channels. I still think that wireless technology will be cheaper, easier and eventually more available at realistic costs. See how easily they beam channels worldwide thru satellites and have been for deacdes. Hardwire connections are truly outdated technology. It's just a matter of time before they increase the speed, data stream and improve signal power and quality with mobile/wireless.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Is the Internet a utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    No because it is not essential for basic survival or disease prevention like electric, water, gas, sewage are.
    gas and electricity are not essential for survival or disease prevention.
    Nor is the phone.
    I may be wrong.

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