Theopeninter.net, A Visual Guide To Net Neutrality

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With Theopeninter.net, web designer Michael Ciarlo has given you the holiday gift of being able to explain to the less web savvy members of your friends and family what net neutrality means (simply, and with visuals) and why exactly laymen should care about the FCC’s recent attempts to create “enforcable” Internet regulations.

Ciarlo describes the inspiration behind the site as stemming from a conceptual expansion of already existing situations where ISPs exert control over access.

“In November my console was updated to include ESPN3. To my surprise, much of the content was unavailable, despite being an XBOX Live customer with a broadband Internet connection. As it turns out, Time Warner Cable had disabled much of my access to this feature, on a device purchased independently of their services, because I didn’t pay for a cable package that included ESPN3. I was angered and frustrated that my ISP had blocked features of a product they did not sell or control.”

Granted there’s a lot more complexity surrounding the issue than “All ISPs are inherently evil and want to charge you for Skype” Theopeninter.net does, as Reddit commenter lolinyerface (yeah I know) put it, “The job of showing how things we get for free now, could one day be per item additional cost.”

Explains Ciarlo:

“I created TheOpenInter.net to depict a time in the future when ISPs control the Internet and all data is not downloaded equally. While creating the site’s design, I had the idea to bundle Netflix and Hulu as a package ISPs required you to buy. Halfway through development, I questioned the reality of my portrayal. Was I too far off-base?

Then to my surprise a Wired article titled “Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page” showed almost the exact same scenario. While there is no documentation within the article to prove wireless carriers have any current plans to implement a similar pricing structure, the fact that evidence exists to suggest its consideration is frightening.”

The ghost of Christmas future, indeed.

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