War for the Web

Ten Questions You Should Be Asking about the Internet.

Our reliance on the Internet in our daily lives grows every day, but few of us have any awareness to just how it works. Have you asked yourself what goes on behind the scenes when you write an email, check your Facebook, watch a Netflix video, or read your favorite online newspaper?

Here we present 10 Questions You Should Be Asking about the Internet.

  • 1. How has Internet expanded the amount of data in the world?
    If you take all the information created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, the same amount of information was created in two days in 2010. At this rate, the world’s information is doubling every two years.

  • 2. Just how much data do Americans consume in one day?
    Between Internet, TV, radio and our trusty smartphones, the United States consumes approximately 3.6 zettabytes of information in one day. That’s 3.1 trillion hard drives worth of data, or more than 16 hard drives of data per person.

  • 3. Where is all this digital data being stored?
    Contrary to the idea conveyed by terms like “cloud server,” all digital data occupies physical space. Data servers now occupy everything from abandoned printing presses to old oil rigs in the ocean. Space for these servers is going to be a growing issue as we create more and more information.

  • 4. How reliant are we on the Internet?
    Consider this: during the Egyptian Revolution, former president Hosni Mubarak shut off Internet to the entire country for five days, which ended up costing the country $110 million, or 5% of its GDP.

  • 5. Just how fast is high-speed Internet in the United States?
    Internet speeds in the U.S. are ranked 26th in the world, far behind top five: South Korea, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia. To compare, the GDP of the United States is more then 10 times that of those five countries combined.

  • 6. How does it compare with the world in terms of cost?
    Although the United States is above average in terms of affordability, it is far behind other countries such as Japan. An Internet user in the U.S. pays approximately $2 per megabyte downloaded, while one in Japan pays approximately 2 cents per megabyte downloaded.

  • 7. Ever wonder why you get one choice for a cable Internet Service Provider?
    An FCC ruling in 2003 states that cable companies aren’t required to lease their own infrastructure to third-party Internet Service Providers. The ruling was intended to encourage cable companies to invest in new networks. Third-party ISPs argued that the ruling would discourage competition. This has led to what we have today.

  • 8. As Americans, do we all have equal access to the Internet?
    Not in terms of speed—fast broadband Internet service is often not available in rural areas or areas of lower socioeconomic status because cable companies bear the cost of building infrastructure and potential customers are few and far between. This phenomenon is often called the Digital Divide.

  • 9. Privacy? What privacy?
    Current laws in the United States allow the government and your Internet Service Provider to examine any data you send and receive—including emails, downloads, files, and chat.

  • 10. So…why should you care?
    We’ve reached a crossroads. The Internet is massive, incredibly expensive to create and operate, and wholly owned by large corporations around the globe. But with the sheer amount of data being created daily, the existing infrastructure can no longer support it the way it has in the past.

    Can we continue our breakneck pace in data consumption? Will everyone have equal access to the Internet in the future? Will America be able to compete against the world in technology and innovation?

  • What’s at stake here?

    War for the Web explores into this digital frontier, seeking answers to the future by delving into its past. We will investigate the beginnings of the Internet, its exponential growth in the past decade, and how this phenomenal culture of innovation—which spawned advances such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon—may be in jeopardy.

    We need your help to raise awareness of this very important issue! War for the Web needs $200,000 to finance the production of this documentary, which includes interviews with key industry executives, scholars, and politicians. Join our Indiegogo campaign, and help us spread the message—through this amazing invention we call the Internet!