Hosting Companies: Can They Be Trusted To Police Themselves? - Big Enough to Regulate?
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Why am I discussing monopolies? Surely this doesn’t apply to the recent hosting merger, does it? Well no, not yet. But these things always start somewhere, and a huge merger among two of the most dominant hosting players seems like as logical of a birthplace as anywhere else for the beginnings of a monopoly.
The hosting business has been around almost since the advent of the Internet. No surprise there, since without hosting companies there really would be no Internet – at least not in the shape, form, and fashion we have become accustomed to. Hosting companies in general control how we experience the Internet: how slow or fast pages load, how secure websites are and the data they contain, how secure our transactions across it are – in effect, web hosting companies are in control of the very essence of the Internet. They aren't solely in control, of course, but you can fathom the significant role the hosting industry plays when looking at it from a macro standpoint.
With the news of the recent merger, it made me wonder. Should the web hosting industry be regulated? Should there be a third party organization which sets guidelines that all hosting companies should follow no matter how big or how small they are? By this I mean things like data backup, security measures, support – things that we all take for granted until you need them, and by the time you need them it’s usually too late.
Of course in principle this sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Who would determine the rules and guidelines? How would they be enforced? Would hosting companies actually follow such a governing body? These are all valid questions, but the answers are unclear. Still, those questions should not preclude us from at least considering whether or not such an organization would have merit.
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