The Pesky Internet Issue

The ominous grey spinning circle turns for the umpteenth time on its head. Oh, you’ve arrived at this page at last – many congratulations. After whole days of limited connectivity and many ‘Aw snap’s later, TDB finally brings to you its take (*well almost*) on ‘The Case of the Grey Circle That Simply Refused to Turn Blue’.

The issue began on one rather sultry afternoon, when many a laidback Bitsian, reclined on his chair (*delightfully upholstered with clothes, at that*) found his download of a 10 MB PDF file taking too long, way too long indeed. On investigation, he was lead to believe, after going through one of those longer LifeHacker posts, that something was seriously wrong with ‘The Box filled with Yellow Wires’, the existence of which he discovered just then.

But the problem had just begun. The symptoms being recurrent, he decided to consult his bros on their woes – and theirs were no different – inexplicably long loading times that might have possibly helped turn him to his books, only made him more vexed and exasperated. Shoutboxx seemed to come alive with open rants on the issue, and every Bitsian had something to say, if only his Facebook account could load.

And the days flew by, and so did the rants, with none in particular having any idea, let alone a concrete one on the problem. Information of plans of faster 4G connectivity on campus whistled past anticipating ears, but the excitement died down soon, when someone sniffed the T1s round the corner. But the dark days had barely begun.

On the 9th of September, BITSMail came up with news that sent crowds scurrying to their message boxes. The notorious 800 MB data cap had landed, but with a caveat that it was an experiment and further decisions would be taken based on the response. And the towers came crashing down. The SU was bombarded with mails and messages from erstwhile reticent Bitsians, and every other passer-by wore a tight-lipped smile, reminiscent of times when Open Courseware videos used to load, and unlimited Facebook surfing was the norm.

But like ever before, the SU came to the rescue (*pardon the rhyme scheme*). A consensus was reached, with Mr. Chittaranjan Hota spearheading the resolution. The 800 MB data cap was removed for browsing, and placed instead, on the relatively mild case of the direct download of a single file. A much more lenient cap of 5 GB was put on downloads in general, and no Bitsian was hurt in the process. Scores rejoiced at the news and the SU was hailed for its efforts, once again.

Humph… That seems fine for a narrative, but what’s in store for the future? We’re still bugged by blank screens and terrible loading times, aren’t we? And what about publicity for our own fests? Is that to reach an all-time low simply because we find it hard to share the developments in the events?

Alright, that’s all fine. But it is time for some introspection: How many of us having been starved of entertainment, install applications to bypass Cyberroam for gaming and what not? Have we really ever spared a thought for that lone bro of ours cursing into the darkness in the middle of the night, when he found his Open Courseware buffering? That doesn’t seem fair. Communist views for the internet? No, let’s not get too carried away.

Are these times calling for judicious use of the internet? Is it not something we can take for granted like the roof on our heads? Yes, it does become our responsibility to treat the Internet with respect and integrity. But it’s certainly not justified for us to compromise on the unlimited nature of it, for miraculously higher speeds.
Decent speeds, capable of loading at the same rate as the average human patience running out, are all we’re asking for.

Maybe I should now thank you for your 10 MB. Cheers.

-V. Arvind Rameshwar


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