Thursday, December 16, 2010

The era of network provider gadgets, the new railroad trusts

I'm highly networked. I have cell data plans for 3 out of 4 direct family members. We have a cable modem with somewhere on the order of 10 consumption devices on 2 subnets connected to it (this is no joke and may be an underestimate).

My thirst for new network gadgets is slackening. It's not that I don't find them useful. Rather, I don't like the fact that they're tied to particular providers.

  • iPad 3G: ATT
  • Kindle 3G: Sprint
  • Cr-48: Verizon
  • Android Phones: the cell provider who sells them to you

Isn't this what brought about the break up of the old ATT monopoly? Why is my equipment tied to my network provider? Why is my access to resources then also shaped by my provider often retroactively after I've already bought in?

Just so you know, my bottom line: I'd be willing to put up with traffic shaping if my device allowed me to hop around between providers.