Why to I have to go through an ISP to connect to the internet?

by Glen Wallace

I don’t understand why I can’t be my own internet service provider.  By that I mean, given that the internet is merely a computer network, why can’t I just plug my phone line into my computer’s Ethernet input and thus be connected to the rest of the computers on the internet the same way I could connect computers to a network in a home or office?  Maybe what we really need is to treat the internet as a utility and have the people own and operate it as such.