Think of this as Volume 18, Number 12 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
The assumption of its designers was that the Internet would be a two-way network, that as many bits would flow in one direction as the other. Peering, the original financial agreement underlying today's Internet, is based on this assumption.
The Internet, in other words, was not designed to be TV. It was not designed to be a passive medium, as something you watch, or read, or listen to. We already had such media. The Internet was designed to be something you interacted with.
That's not how things are working out in our time. The Internet is becoming TV, is becoming something you watch, or read, or listen to. The bits are mostly flowing in one direction, from the core to the edge of the network. Most of the technical standards underlying consumer Internet traffic, like DSL and DOCSIS, are designed to let bits flow faster downstream than upstream, on the assumption that more bits would do that.