Ode to an Internet Patrolman

Dear Comcast,

I hear you’ll be instituting a bandwidth cap of 250GB per residential subscriber. Well, that’s totally your call. You take that prerogative, bad boy. Nip those crazy downloaders where it hurts most. “No more of that HD nonsense for you bandits, BitTorrent or no BitTorrent, iTunes or no iTunes,” you’ll say to them come October.

And you’ll be happy to have control of your network back again, I’m sure. All that copper you laid down. Come on. Stuff’s expensive, right? How dare your monthlies use those connections as they please. No appreciation for what they’ve been given. They should be glad for their 250GB take! That’s 3,000 in 12 months! Frickin’ plenty, eh? Absolutely.

To be serious for a moment, it’s clear that there are a number of parties that will benefit from your hardhandedness. They’re names you’re quite familiar with, actually. There’s Verizon, AT&T, Cablevision, and Time Warner, just to name a few. I mean, think of all your excessively greedy customers you’ll send their way so they can frolic unbeholden by bandwidth limits like the debauched bloodhounds they are.

Of course, some of those ISPs won’t tolerate very much peer-to-peer stuff, but gosh darn it, they’ll certainly pull down those data-heavy podcasts with aplomb. You won’t have it, but they will, and that’s fine by you as long as your land’s been rid. Heck, streams from Hulu, ABC, and WB, some of them promised in 480p or better detail, is what they’ve been getting nowadays. Ptewey! Hooligans. Your tubes are going to be like raceways after they’re gone. Traffic’s going to drop to a more reasonable pace. You’ll finally be able to relax, lounging on your whitewashed porch, gun at your side, watching your loyalists wave as they walk by. All because you dropped the hammer. “Sheriff ain’t gonna take it no more, y’hear?” No he won’t.

In then end, everyone will have what they want. Mouths hungry for new media counting at gigabytes upon gigabytes a day will find ISPs that share their common interests. You, meanwhile, will be laying down the law as you know it. And those who know what’s good for ‘em will tip their hands to you and say, “He’s right. The Web is no buffet. You don’t pay your standard fee at the door and run the tap at will. This world is flat. You walk past the edge, and you walk no more. You fall!”

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