WHERE IS THE CENTER OF THE INTERNET?

The US is the undisputed centre of the internet, which is allegedly decentralised.

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 Precisely because of this, the debate over network neutrality is not just about the United States. There is no debate taking place between infrastructure companies and content companies in the United States at all. Network neutrality is the discussion of what kind of internet users around the world will face in the future, whether or not the freedom areas provided by the internet can protect their existence.

In the US, last week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a plan to eliminate network neutrality. Under this plan, companies providing internet infrastructure will be able to charge additional fees for users to access or block certain content with higher bandwidth. Similar regulation proposals that undermined network neutrality had been raised during the Obama era, and were rejected by a vote of 3 to 2 on the FCC.

NETWORK NEUTRALITY DEBATE REVISITED

This proposal, reintroduced by Trump's appointment of Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, who cast one of those 2 votes, would mean the disappearance of the status of equal access to all websites and services on the internet. In other words, internet service providers that provide wired or wireless infrastructure to access the Internet -- telecommunications giants such as AT&T and Verizon in the US -- will provide more bandwidth for some content, slowing access to some content and blocking others altogether. This plan, which commodifies and trades the speed of access itself, is unsurprisingly supported by infrastructure provider companies.

Many in the U.S. favor network neutrality, so for Ajit Pai, “Verizon's lawyer” brings criticism. The only winner in this situation because most of these companies will be large infrastructure companies and content providers (Netflix, Google, Amazon and others) can charge a fee for more bandwidth to be allocated to them in smaller, independent content providers or, for example, alternative news sites, amateur content can be accessed more slowly, or it is not fully accessible. In other words, as difficult as it is today to establish an alternative TV channel, or to publish a newspaper, it will now be the same difficulty to establish an alternative web site over the internet.

The way in which this situation is being discussed, which is preoccupying the US agenda, is quite familiar. As the debate began, the FCC posted social media posts and messages on its page supporting this plan. It was soon revealed that millions of these shipments had been diverted from fake accounts. Then Ajit Pai claimed that those in favour of network neutrality were threatening and harassing their children and family. The debate will likely continue in the coming days, with intense lobbying by infrastructure companies and content companies on the one hand and those in favour of network neutrality on the other, further demonised, with trolls and fake accounts invading social media. But the result is already visible. That plan will be voted on by the FCC in December and will no doubt be adopted.

WHY DOES NETWORK NEUTRALITY MATTER?

While this debate is happening in US private, it is actually a global debate. Because the internet is a global medium of communication and the disappearance of network neutrality in the US affects the whole world. Because the answer to the question of who controls the internet is clearly given as the United States. Although the internet is considered a non-hierarchical, horizontal and decentralized system, World internet traffic is US-centric.

There are three main interconnected reasons why World internet traffic is US-centric. The first of these is the domain name (DNS) configuration, which requires every internet access. The second reason is that the most widely accessed web pages in the world, or the content on the internet, are located in the United States. The third reason is that domain names used in the United States, which do not have a country abbreviation at the end (e.g., no .tr),are used extensively outside the United States.

DNS CONFIGURATION

The Internet works with an address system called an IP address and consists of numbers. For example, since IP addresses such as 144.122.199.20 are not easy to use and remember in everyday life, domain name system (DNS) is used. In this system, addressing is done from the most general to the most specific, and control and authorization of each address level is distributed. The domain name is a point from each other (.) is a sequence of subnames at the hierarchical level, separated by. For example, the domain name of a company called X, “X.com.tr “it is indicated by three levels, and each level is also called a” field". In our example, the lowest level ‘X’ shows the name of the company. A top-level ‘com’ (commercial) indicates that the domain name belongs to a company. The highest level of ‘.tr’ is the country code of Turkey determined by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Some other field names used can be specified as .edu for training organizations,. gov for government organizations,. mil for military organizations.

These addresses have to be kept on DNS servers, which we can call “root name server” so that access to an address is possible. These servers can be thought of as a knowledge base that controls different levels of space and holds the names and IP addresses of the computers under their responsibility in the tables. For example, when you type an address in the address bar of a web browser to access a web page, you can access that address by accessing different DNS servers, starting at the top level. Subdomains only retain information about their own domain names and query for all kinds of domain names they do not know through the “root name server” at the highest level. For this reason, some of the data circulating on the internet is DNS, i.e. domain name query data. The calculations show that approximately 10 percent of the data circulating on the internet is DNS data.

About 10 percent of the world's internet traffic has to access root-domain servers, the majority of which are geographically located in the United States. In other words, the U.S. DNS servers, one of the most important components of the internet environment, show the role of the U.S. in the internet on the one hand, on the other hand, other countries prefer the U.S. for international connection to the internet causes.

Although control of the DNS system has been delegated to ICANN, a multi-stakeholder, independent international organization founded in 1998, under a plan adopted in 2016, internet users still have to access servers in the United States to access an address on the internet, as the geographic structure has not changed.

CENTER OF THE U.S. INTERNET

The other reason that makes the United States the center of the internet is that Google, which has almost become the gatekeeper of the internet, is also the most accessible social media sites based in the United States. As a result, a change in access to these sites in the United States will, of course, greatly affect internet traffic around the world. The third reason is that, in time, because of the flexibility of internet domain names, sites on the internet that is established in almost every country, for different reasons, top-level domain name, I mean .tr to use the name of the country as given up showing to be the United States that is allocated to the top-level domain name is not so .com .domain names ending with. edu are choosing that. These domain names cause internet traffic to circulate largely from the United States.

All this shows that the United States is the undisputed center of the internet, which is supposedly decentralized. Precisely because of this, the debate over network neutrality is not just about the United States. There is no debate taking place between infrastructure companies and content companies in the United States at all. Network neutrality is the discussion of what kind of internet users around the world will face in the future, whether or not the freedom areas provided by the internet can protect their existence.



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