The Troll under the bridge

Not content with receiving monthly internet subscriptions, phone and cable companies are starting to cast their eye on tastier morsels, but this could potentially affect our freedom using the internet.

It seems in the United States (and soon other places too I suppose), the companies that provide access to the internet intend to try to cash-in in on the provision of content by offering pay-for services for content delivery of films, for example. According to them, in order to ensure the quality of service of their content delivery, they intend to monitor and control other internet usage and make heavy users of “their pipes” pay up, or they may throttle the speed of delivery of data from these companies who refuse to pay up. Google and other web services providers have become alarmed at this and are keeping a close eye on developments.

If the phone companies and cable companies really try to control data access and delivery in this way, then perhaps they just might become the troll in the children’s tale called “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” who tries to control access to the lush grass in the meadow across the bridge. In case you are unfamiliar with it, read the tale shown below.

This could turn out to be a big shoot out between content providers & web services companies and the telephone companies & cable companies who hold the keys to internet access for you and me. Let’s hope that common sense prevails and that it backfires on the greedy telcos. Their business model is collapsing due to the loss of revenue incurred due to new technologies like Skype. Instead of using their brains to dream up new ways to survive, they prefer to try extortion as a means of survival. Good luck to them. It could just be the final nail in their coffin. They have ripped us off for years so I would not miss them if they disappear like the dinosaurs that they are. Whatever happens it should be highly entertaining to watch events unfold. Bring it on!

See here for more.

Update: 09/01/2006

“The phone companies envision a system whereby internet companies would pay a fee for their content to receive priority treatment as it moves across increasingly crowded networks,” the paper said. “Those that don’t pay the fee would risk their transactions with internet users – for games, movies and software downloads, for example – moving across networks at a relatively slower pace. Consumers could benefit through faster access to content from companies that agree to pay the fees.” — See more here.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Once upon a time 
there were three Billy Goats called Gruff. 
In the winter they lived in a barn in the valley.
 When spring came they longed to travel
 up to the mountains to eat the lush sweet grass.
 On their way to the mountains 
the three Billy Goats Gruff had to cross a rushing river. 
But there was only one bridge across it, 
made of wooden planks.
 And underneath the bridge
 there lived a terrible, ugly, one-eyed troll.
 Nobody was allowed to cross the bridge 
without the troll’s permission
 and nobody ever got permission. 
He always ate them up. 
The smallest Billy Goat Gruff was first to reach the bridge. Trippity-trop, trippity-trop
 went his little hooves as he trotted 
over the wooden planks.

 Ting-tang, ting-tang went the little bell round his neck. 

” Who’s that trotting over my bridge ? “ 
Growled the troll from under the bridge.
 “Billy Goat Gruff,” squeaked the smallest goat 
in his little voice. 
”I’m only going up to the mountain 
to eat the sweet spring grass.”
 “Oh no, you’re not!” said the troll. 
“I’m going to eat you for breakfast!” 
 ” Oh no, please Mr. Troll, ” pleaded the goat.
 ” I’m only the smallest Billy Goat Gruff. 
I’m much too tiny for you to eat, 
and I wouldn’t taste very good. 
Why don’t you wait for my brother, 
the second Billy Goat Gruff ? 
 He’s much bigger than me
 and would be much more tasty. “
 The troll did not want to waste his time on a little goat if there was a bigger and better one to eat. 
“All right, you can cross my bridge,” he grunted. 
“Go and get fatter on the mountain 
and I’ll eat you on your way back!” 
So the smallest Billy Goat Gruff 
skipped across to the other side.

The troll did not have to wait long 
for the second Billy Goat Gruff.
 Clip-clop, clip-clop went his hooves
 as he clattered over the wooden planks.

 Ding-dong, ding-dong went the bell around his neck. 

“Who’s that clattering across my bridge?” 
screamed the troll, 
suddenly appearing from under the planks. 
” Billy Goat Gruff, ” said the second goat in his middle-sized voice. 
”I’m going up to the mountain
 to eat the lovely spring grass.” 
“Oh no you’re not!” said the troll.
 “I’m going to eat you for breakfast.” 
” Oh, no, please, ” said the second goat. 
” I may be bigger than the first Billy Goat Gruff, 
but I’m much smaller than my brother,
 the third Billy Goat Gruff. 
Why don’t you wait for him? 
He would be much more of a meal than me. “
 The troll was getting very hungry,
 but he did not want to waste his appetite
 on a middle-sized goat 
if there was an even bigger one to come. 
” All right, you can cross my bridge,” he rumbled.
 ” Go and get fatter on the mountain
 and I’ll eat you on your way back ! “
 So the middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff scampered across to the other side.
The troll did not have to wait long 
for the third Billy Goat Gruff.
 Tromp-tramp, tromp-tramp went his hooves 
as he stomped across the wooden planks. 
Bong-bang, bong-bang went the big bell round his neck. 

” Who’s that stomping over my bridge?” roared the troll, resting his chin on his hands. 
” Billy Goat Gruff, ” said the third goat in a deep voice. 
” I’m going up to the mountain
 to eat the lush spring grass. “
 ” Oh no you’re not, ” said the troll
 as he clambered up on to the bridge. 
” I’m going to eat you for breakfast ! “
 ” That’s what you think, ” 
said the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff.

 Then he lowered his horns, galloped along the bridge
 and butted the ugly troll. 
Up, up, up went the troll into the air… 
then down, down, down into the rushing river below. 
He disappeared below the swirling waters, 
and was gone. 
 So much for his breakfast, 
thought the biggest Billy Goat Gruff.

” Now what about mine ! ” 
And he walked in triumph over the bridge
 to join his two brothers on the mountain pastures.
 From then on everyone could cross the bridge whenever they liked – thanks to the 
Three Billy Goats Gruff.

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