Free Internet

By Mark Nuyens
4 min. read📱 Technology

Ever since the dawn of the internet, we have seen a monumental shift in the way we live our lives. From communication and banking to entertainment and navigation, the internet has become an integral part of our daily routines. However, despite its ubiquitous presence, we still find ourselves at the mercy of mobile providers, grappling with data limits and hefty fees for crossing those boundaries. It's high time we start treating the internet as the common good it truly is and strive towards making it broadly available, much like other essential resources.

The technological landscape has evolved drastically since the early days of the iPhone and mobile data plans. We now live in a world where mobile providers capitalize on our need for constant connectivity, often at exorbitant prices. Gone are the days when text messages and phone calls were the primary means of communication; today, apps like Whatsapp and Signal rule the roost. It's hard to imagine living without mobile data, yet we continue to allow large companies to treat it as a luxury item rather than a necessity.

It's time for a radical change in our perspective. The internet has become a fundamental part of our existence, and it's not going away. Shouldn't we have reached a point where public internet access is free, or at the very least, far more affordable? While critics may argue that such an approach is overly idealistic and fails to take into account the economics and technical complexities involved, we must not let these arguments deter us from striving towards a more connected world.

Imagine a world where the internet is omnipresent, available to all at reliable speeds and at no cost. If this were the case, the need for complicated data plans, customer support, and corporate oversight would be significantly reduced. Instead of focusing on the bells and whistles of 5G and other cutting-edge technologies, we could prioritize maintaining a stable and accessible connection for all. Even if daily limits were imposed, the benefits of such a system would far outweigh the drawbacks.

Amazon seems to have been proactive in anticipating this trend by introducing a new offering for Amazon Prime customers: "free" cellular access in collaboration with telecommunication providers. While this particular scenario does not address the situation I am referring to (as it simply shifts power to an even larger corporation), it is noteworthy to witness their efforts in providing services that they believe would appeal to their customers.

Europe has made strides in recent years, allowing mobile users to take advantage of their data plans across different countries at the same rate. This is a commendable step in the right direction, but there's still much work to be done. We need to continue advocating for universal internet availability, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and redefining our relationship with this essential resource.

In conclusion, the internet has become an indispensable part of our lives, and it's time we recognize and treat it as such. By embracing the notion of the internet as a common good, we can work towards a future where access is broad and freely available, unencumbered by data limits and corporate greed. I believe we should collectively try to create a more connected world, one that benefits everyone, not just those who can afford to pay the price.

Thank you for reading!