Why isnt the internet free for Americans, comsidering that our tax dollars paid to develop the damn thing?
Well our parents' and grandparents' tax dollars, but same diff.
It's not all that dumb, it just needs a business model like broadcast TV or radio where advertisers are paying for it. If ISP's had a bit more control over what you saw as you browsed the web (so they could derive ad revenue like the actual websites do), it would probably be workable.
The problem with internet ads is that advertisers can accurately and directly measure the results, unlike print and TV (so far at least). Which allows them to realize that internet ads don't work.
So they pay bottom dollar, demanding pay-per-click so that they aren't paying for worthless ads. Sometimes they only pay by result - not just a click, but some action taken such as signing up for something or buying something. Since advertisers have all the power, why not demand the moon?
And the number of advertising venues is unlimited, which means an eternally escalating supply but a stable demand. That keeps driving prices down. Putting ISPs in competition with websites just increases the supply and does nothing to affect demand.
Could be that print and TV have always been funded by worthless ads, too. Only the fact that the advertisers couldn't tell which half were worthless has kept the system afloat this far.