Call Me Maybe
Internet Wants to Be Free
Late Monday night, you probably saw friends south of Flatiron fall off the grid and not resurface until answering your panicked text messages Tuesday morning from somewhere uptown.
That’s because, thanks to Sandy, cell service downtown is–not to put too fine a point on it–totally fucked. You might be getting patches of service, but it’s likely an exercise in massive frustration. Don’t hold your breath on it getting fixed right away, either, says the FCC.
Sometime in the mid-nineties, my dad got an AOL account. Roughly two seconds after that, I fell down the rabbit hole of anonymous chat rooms and never quite got out–that is when I wasn’t getting the deadly, dreaded dial-up busy signal. AOL charged by the hour back then. Until the service switched to a flat monthly rate in October, 1996, the clock was always ticking, forcing you to make the Sophie’s Choice of where to spend your time online.
Now it seems the industry is heading back in that direction. Not by-the-hour, mind you, but a usage-based pricing model that would prompt viewers to consider whether, say, spending the weekend watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix is really worth it. (Answer: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.)