Skywire: The Next Internet
In spring 2017, the FCC made a proposal in which internet service providers can collect, use, and sell information about customer browsing habits. ISPs can do this without permission. Customers can’t opt out. Being a customer of one of these corporations means that you’re paying to be tracked, plain and simple.
With customer tracking, unreliable coverage, high rates, long hold times and poor customer service, ISPs have become some of the most hated companies in America. So why do customers pay these companies bill after bill for the privilege of being exploited?
The answer is sad, but not surprising: users feel trapped. There seems to be no other choice. ISPs have monopolistic powers, including the ability to charge customers exorbitant prices for poor service. With net neutrality regulations under threat going into 2018, the situation will only get worse.
That’s why we built Skywire: the next internet. Skywire takes control from ISPs and puts it back into the hands of users where it belongs. With Skywire, there are no huge bills and unfair business practices. It’s a self-sufficient network, 100% owned and maintained by the user community.
How does Skywire work? Think of it as a decentralized internet service provider. Skywire uses blockchain technology to create a peer-to-peer community-driven market for internet service. It’s fast, private, and secure. Best of all, it puts the user first.
With Skywire, you benefit directly from your contributions to the network. Users can earn coins for running hardware nodes and providing bandwidth and storage. You can then spend your coins by consuming media or other network resources. This system makes Skywire self-sustaining and independent: the more you use it, the more robust the network becomes. Skywire is an incentivized mesh network.
Skywire is built for users, by users. Unlike networks under corporate ISPs, decisions on Skywire are made by the community. Nodes function based on a web-of-trust system. Malicious nodes can be cut off by collective agreement, and trustworthy nodes strengthened. Web-of-trust consensus makes Skywire immune to attacks, exploitation, and manipulation. It creates a system where everyone has a say.
Skywire is faster and more secure than other internet alternatives. It’s encrypted and private, which means that you can’t be tracked as you browse. It doesn’t suffer from throttling and other service outages that you get with large ISPs. Instead of paying $150 per month to be tracked by the telecom monopoly, Skywire users get internet service that protects their privacy.
We need Skywire now more than ever. The FCC’s failure to promote net neutrality means that large ISPs will continue to tighten their grip until they achieve a stranglehold over internet experience. Fees will rise. Throttling, censorship, and manipulation could become the norm. Users will have less power than they’ve ever had as their browsing data, privacy, and individuality is bought and sold by corporations looking for a profit.
It’s up to us to regain control. Skywire will protect net neutrality at the hardware level, by taking control of network hardware from the ISPs and putting it the hands of the community. Its peer-to-peer network proves that we don’t have rely on corporate ISPs. Together, we can reinvent the internet with Skywire: a user-powered network that’s free and open to all.