A photo – Juri noga – Unsplash
What, in fact, is the problem
Over the past couple of decades, unconditional leaders have emerged in the IT market – companies whose names have already become common names occupy a large (sometimes overwhelming) share in a number of segments of the IT industry. Google belongs over 90% of the search services market, and the Chrome browser installed on computers 56% of users. The situation with Microsoft is similar – about 65% of companies in the economic region EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) are working with Office 365.
This situation has its positive aspects. Large companies create a large number of jobs – how writes CNBC, from 2000 to 2018, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon hired over a million new employees. Such businesses accumulate enough resources to conduct large-scale research and development in new, sometimes high-risk areas, in addition to their core business. In addition, companies are forming their own ecosystem, in which users solve a wide range of problems – they immediately order all the necessary goods, from products to appliances, to Amazon. According to analysts, by 2021 he will take half of the American ecommerce market.
The presence of IT giants in the market is beneficial for its other players – investors who make money on the exchange: their shares are usually reliable and bring a steady income. For example, when in 2018 Microsoft confirmed its intention to acquire GitHub, its shares immediately rose by 1.27%.
A photo – Horst gutmann – CC BY-SA
However, the growing influence of the largest IT businesses is cause for concern. The main one is that companies aggregate a large amount of personal data. Today they have become a commodity and are used for a variety of purposes – from complex systems of predictive analytics to banal targeted advertising. The aggregation of large amounts of data in the hands of one company creates a whole range of risks for ordinary people and certain difficulties for the regulator.
In the fall of 2017, it became known that the credentials of 3 billion accounts in Tumblr, Fantasy and Flickr owned by Yahoo! The total amount of compensation that the company pledged to pay, made up 50 million dollars. And in December 2019, security experts discovered online database with the names, phone numbers and identifiers of 267 million Facebook users.
The situation worries not only the users themselves, but also the governments of individual states, primarily because they cannot control the data collected by IT companies. And this, according to some politicians, “poses a threat to national security.”
A photo – Guilherme cunha – CC BY-SA
In the West, a radical solution to the problem comes from supporters of various left and left radical movements. Among other things, they propose that large IT companies be made private-state structures or cooperatives, and the global network – universal and controlled by the government (as well as other territorial resources). The logic of the left’s reasoning is as follows: if online services cease to be a “gold mine”, and they begin to be treated as housing and communal services, the pursuit of profit will end – which means that the incentive to “exploit” users’ personal data will decrease. And despite the initial fantasticness, the movement towards the “shared Internet” in some countries already started.
Infrastructure – to the people
A number of states have already there are lawssecuring the right to access the Internet as a base. In Spain, access to the worldwide network is classified in the same category as telephony. This means that every citizen of the country should be able to access the Internet, regardless of his place of residence. In Greece, it’s right, in general fixed at constitutional level (Article 5A).
Another example is back in 2000 Estonia launched the program Internet delivery to remote regions of the country – villages and farms. According to politicians, the global network is an integral part of human life in the 21st century and should be accessible to everyone.
A photo – Josue valencia – Unsplash
Given the growing importance of the Internet – the role it plays to meet the basic needs of people – representatives of the left call for it to be conditionally free, like television. Earlier this year, the British Labor Party included plan for the massive transition to free fiber optic Internet in its election program. According to preliminary estimates, the project will cost 20 billion pounds. By the way, they plan to raise funds for the implementation at the expense of additional taxes for Internet giants like Facebook and Google.
In some U.S. cities, Internet service providers are owned by local authorities and cooperatives. In the country about 900 communities deployed their broadband networks – there, all segments of the population, without exception, have access to high-speed Internet. The most popular example – The city of Chattanooga in Tennessee. In 2010, with the support of a federal grant, authorities launched a gigabit network for residents. Today, throughput has grown to ten gigabits. The new fiber is also connected to the Chattanooga energy system, so residents of the city no longer have to manually transmit meter readings. Experts say the new network helps save up to $ 50 million in budget annually.
Similar projects implemented and in smaller cities – for example, in Thomasville, as well as in rural areas – southern Minnesota. There, the Internet provider is responsible for the RS Fiber provider, which belongs to a cooperative of ten cities and seventeen farms.
Consonant with socialists ideas are periodically expressed at the very top of the US government. At the beginning of 2018, the Donald Trump administration proposed to do 5G network of state property. According to the initiators, this approach will allow to quickly develop the country’s infrastructure, increase its resistance to cyber attacks and increase the quality of life of the population. Although at the beginning of last year from the idea of nationalization of infrastructure decided to refuse. But there is a possibility that this issue will be raised again in the future.
Accessible to everyone, cheap or even free Internet access is a tempting prospect that is unlikely to cause anyone to disapprove. However, in addition to hardware and infrastructure, software and applications remain an integral part of the network. On the account of what to do with them, some representatives of the socialist and other left movements also have a special opinion – we will talk more about it in the next article.