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If there’s one thing you need to know to understand the shape of things to come — and that definitely includes the internet — it’s that the rich are getting richer and more powerful, and fast.There’s no conspiracy theory here, just hard data about who owns what.The thing we conveniently call the internet, which is really just varying combinations of you, and me, and the phones and wires and media that are all connected by them, are owned and operated by very few people.Those people are going to keep making a lot of decisions for you, both because they can and because they think they know best.(T-Mobile announced today it had "amped" that minimum plan to 2GB.) As soon as you reach that cap, you’re kicked down to 2G speeds which are basically unusable for most things worth doing on the internet.When I was on T-Mobile’s 1GB plan before it announced Music Freedom, I nearly used my entire data allowance listening to Google Play Music on a one-way bus ride from New York to DC.It’s all as meaningless as the wireless puffery about who's "most reliable." The only reason T-Mobile's plan makes sense is because it exists in this world of hollow language and artificial constraints.

Each metaphor is more inane and unnecessary than the last, but it doesn’t really matter, because only a few companies really own the internet, and they succeed most when they cooperate without acting like they’re cooperating.

For years ISPs have clamored about a mobile data crunch that never materialized to justify data caps and outrageous prices, and wouldn’t you know it, now they have the solution.

After years of aggressively trying to cull the herd of people who still remember the meaning of the word "unlimited," they’re rebranding it as something special and new. Even the landline ISPs are using the same spin now, because their siblings in the mobile business have perfected the art of squeezing customers for access to data.

The internet is still in trouble, and now we know how it’s going to get worse.

T-Mobile has just announced "Binge On," a deal that gives customers unlimited access to Netflix, HBO Go, ESPN, Showtime, and video from most other huge media brands (but not You Tube! It’s just like T-Mobile’s "Music Freedom" promotion, which gives customers unlimited high-speed data, as long as they’re listening to music from Spotify, Google Play Music, or one of T-Mobile’s other partners.

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