If you’ve been following my blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed a topic I’ve been revisiting from time to time: the battle for net neutrality. Essentially the battle for net neutrality centers on a possible rule change by the FCC that would allow cable and telecom companies such as Comcast and Time Warner to allow certain websites higher bandwidth for a fee.
Among other repercussions, this rule change would make it especially hard for start ups and small businesses to compete with big companies that have the money to pay such exorbitant fees.
The internet as we know it is at serious risk of changing for the worse, and it is very important that something is done by those who will be adversely affected.
Good thing that someone with more star power than me (such people exist, guys) is shedding an extraordinary amount of attention on the issue. John Oliver, former correspondent of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, on his new HBO show Last Week Tonight, dedicated a whole show to the topic.
Not blaming his viewers for a lack of awareness on the subject, he fully admits that news regarding net neutrality is exceptionally boring, making C-SPAN even more boring than usual.
In his video he humorously breaks the situation down: how tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are vehemently opposed to such legislation; how a head telecom lobbyist is going to be the chair of the FCC; how the United States has worse internet than Estonia; and most importantly how the FCC has opened up their website for public comments on the issue.
He culminated his bit with a call to arms aimed at internet commenters: “This is the moment you were made for commenters. Like Ralph Macchio, you’ve been honing your skills waxing cars and painting fences. Well, guess what. Now it’s time to do some fucking karate.”
Since this show aired, the FCC’s site actually broke because of the sheer mass of comments posted. Though many of the comments are laden with death threats and references to ‘getting fucked in the ass,’ I’d like to think that this is a small victory for the good guys.
Maybe if the FCC would pay Comcast and Time Warner for extra bandwidth, they would still have a website?