back to article Big Tech shrank the internet while growing its own power

The internet has become smaller, the result of a rethinking of when and where to use the 'net's intended architecture. In the process it may also have further concentrated power in the hands of giant technology companies. Given the ever-expanding content and resources available online, and proliferation of connected devices, …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    Boo hoo

    An "internet service provider" provides transit for packets leaving my devices or intended for my devices. It isn't ANY of their business what the ultimate destination is, whether they transit through Cloudfare, a VPN, or whatever.

    1. Tilda Rice

      Re: Boo hoo

      My thoughts exactly. Carriers/ISPs bleeting, ah diddums.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The i in iPhone stands for "internet"

    Was the "i" usage ever confirmed by Apple?

    Before Apple used the "i", there was iDrive, iRiver, iDisc and many other companies using "i" to imply "internet" but, when Apple followed the leaders of that trend I never saw Apple explicitly state that the i in iPod (or iAnything) means internet.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: The i in iPhone stands for "internet"

      Yeah, the i was for internet, among other things, if you follow the history.


      1. John D'oh!

        Not sure what this has to do with Apple

        The original iPhone was made by Cisco/Linksys back in 1998 and the i was most definitely for Internet as it was an VoIP phone I believe.

        On another note, this article made me think of CompuServe and AOL.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: The i in iPhone stands for "internet"


  3. doublelayer Silver badge

    Muddled reasoning

    In general, we do have a lot of negative effects of big tech on our infrastructure and standards. This article appears to be hitting that drum, but from a drummer who just whacks the thing with a stick at random, only landing on the right surface by chance. This starts right from the beginning. The first example to be used to demonstrate that we have a control problem is Apple's Private Relay. This is a VPN. A completely normal VPN. It works like the VPNs we have had. It's also completely within our control, as a user can turn it on and off at will (and it's turned off by default). It takes some information away from the local ISP, which is in fact probably a good thing given what some ISPs like to do with those records. I don't use it because I'm using my own VPN, set up and managed with standards and software that I have complete access to and denying exactly the same information to the ISP. This is not an issue of over-control by big tech.

    The same is true of the caching. The article correctly points out all the performance and efficiency benefits of using local caching, then somehow paints it as bad anyway. No, it's not. Once again, it's a thing that can be circumvented if you want extra latency. The systems that implement a CDN are almost always using open standards and quite frequently open source. I can rent someone else's or set up my own. The existence of those networks does not create a barrier to entry. If I choose not to have one, the internet still routes people to my systems. No company locks me out of using or refusing to use CDNs. Once again, this fails to demonstrate any control by big tech.

    The sad part of this is that there are a lot of areas where tech companies have major and deleterious effects on important standards and this article had the opportunity to cover many of them. Tech companies have cornered the markets for browsers, mobile OSes, software distribution (in many cases), and membership on a lot of standards bodies. Any of those could have gotten a few paragraphs of legitimate complaint. None of that is something I can opt out of. As this stands, the best example in the article is the complaint about IPV6 which, while accurate, is not the most concerning problem out there.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


      Hey thanks for the feedback. We've taken your points onboard, with a few tweaks to the piece and also for food for thought in future.

      The thrust of our argument was that more and more traffic is going into the hands of a smaller number of network owners, which isn't great for resilience, for one thing.

      Also, if we end up in a situation where 90%+ of traffic ends up in Google, Cloudflare, Amazon, Microsoft, Akamai, etc, pipes, what happens with standards? Might be a bit less IETF and a lot more GAMCA. Maybe we're worrying about nothing, maybe it's worth putting it out there. We went with the latter.

      Also, re: CDNs. Sure, you don't have to use one or you could build your own. Much like if you don't like using DHL or FedEx, you could ship something literally yourself. Or if you don't want to fly BA or AA, you could get your own plane, pilot's license, and fly. There comes a point where you need a site-protection service that's cost prohibitive for you to build.

      You mentioned other anti-competitive stuff, which is valid, but beyond the intended scope of this article.

      It's a comment piece on this particular part of the industry.


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like