The Internet Is Broken


The internet needs your help now!

The Internet is a combination of several different moving parts. Some of those parts are physical, and some are not. From cables that lie beneath earth and sea to invisible electromagnetic wavelengths that carry wireless signals, there are many pieces that work in tandem to make the Internet function. 

This infrastructure is built on similar systems of the past, or in the words of Nicole Starosielski in her book, “The Undersea Network, it “follow[s] the contours of earlier networks,” such as telephone and telegraph networks.

Some of those pieces are older than others. We can’t take out and replace all of that infrastructure like we can replace an old router with a new one. So when those pieces start to break down, what is the solution


For instance, Ben Tarnoff mentions MAREA, a major submarine cable, in his article “The Internet Is Broken. How Do We Fix It?” published in The New York Times.

MAREA is over six thousand six hundred kilometers long and transfers over one hundred sixty terabytes a second. To put that in perspective, I could transfer over everything on the computer that I am writing this article on two hundred times over in a single second through MAREA. 

What would happen if it were to go down? There are only a handful of ships that can reach that deep in the world, and private construction companies own them all. 


The internet is a business. It is run the way it is for the express purpose of generating profit. This means that the protection of the user is not of any real importance to service providers and hardware retailers. 

Cybercrimes such as identity theft, extortion, fraud and more are all against the law but there’s no police equivalent for the internet. The lowest level of authority to contact in the case of cybercrime is your local FBI office. 

Sure, some hardware will come with its own built-in protection as a temporary measure, another profit-generating subscription-based service. 

Not only do most companies want to profit off of your misfortune, but some companies are actively trying to take it a step further with the repeal of net neutrality laws, which protect the user from predatory business practices by ISPs. 

Necessary Evil?

While it has its pros and cons, the internet is now a necessary part of our lives. It regulates the flow of money without the need to carry it on your person. It allows communication of vital information at unmatched speeds. And it has become a repository of information and cultural significance that is unmatched by any other in human history. 

There are science-fiction stories about what would happen if the internet went down, and they are not pretty. The internet is a vital infrastructure for our society. It’s important for us to protect and care for it.