Asymmetrical Internet Access

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Asymmetrical Access as a threat to free E-Speech:

"Yet another hindrance to free speech and open communications online is asymmetrical access (the “A” in “ADSL”). Nearly all broadband ISPs—even in the age of YouTube, Skype and MySpace—offer downstream speeds (from the Internet to the user) that are much faster than upstream speeds (from the user to the Internet). This is a legacy of the cable networks’ origins in the unidirectional world of TV programming, and of the antiquated vision of the Internet as an “information superhighway” by which consumers would access information. Few people anticipated that Americans would be as interested in producing content as they were in consuming it, or that they might want to use video for communicating. So regulators failed to address communication to the Internet, and the original vision of the Internet became enshrined in industrywide technology standards. Today, most providers still use technologies that are downstream-oriented. A few new technologies (Active Ethernet, GPON, VDSL2) support high upstream speeds, but it will take years, and hundreds of billions of dollars, to upgrade all of our networks to use them." (