Somewhat sensationalist title from The Verge, but an otherwise reasonable look at the past, present, and future of the internet. A good starting read for anyone who’s heard words like “net neutrality” and “digital feudalism” floating around and isn’t sure what the big deal is.

Important pull-quote:

The internet is a utility.

There, you’ve just skipped past a quarter century of regulatory corruption and lawsuits that still rage to this day and arrived directly at the obvious conclusion. Internet access isn’t a luxury or a choice if you live and participate in the modern economy, it’s a requirement. Have you ever been in an office when the internet goes down? It’s like recess. […] The internet isn’t an adjunct to real life; it’s not another place. You don’t do things “on the internet,” you just do things. The network is interwoven into every moment of our lives, and we should treat it that way.

Yet the corporations that control internet access insist that they’re providing specialized services that are somehow different than water, power, and telephones.

Because you can charge premiums for a service. Oh, and there’s a hell of a lot less regulation. So there’s that.