Getting the word out on the FCC proposal and net neutrality
“If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring”
Here’s a good comedy video getting to the heart of the issue of protecting net neutrality, and the problem with an FCC-sanctioned fast/slow lane, effectively allowing companies to negotiate faster speeds for their data.
It took me probably a half hour to actually find the primary sources explaining what they are proposing to do. It seems this quote is the most egregious line:
At the same time, it could permit broadband providers to serve customers and carry traffic on an individually negotiated basis, “without having to hold themselves out to serve all comers indiscriminately on the same or standardized terms,” so long as such conduct is commercially reasonable.
I think that is why the quote “if you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring” is really insightful here. First of all, there is probably no one who actually read the whole NPRM. The proposal is actually called “Protecting and Promoting an Open Internet” even though one of its key effects is to essentially reverse net neutrality. If this goes through, I’d be pretty thankful for the person who actually read the boring thing and figured out that there were some problems.
It also highlights the importance of news outlets in reporting this, but since no one actually digs into primary sources, it is very easy to get misinformation, and it becomes key to pass along a simple sound byte like “creating an internet fast lane.” That is why comedy sources like this actually probably have the best chance of shedding light on the key issue at stake.
It seems the corrollary here would be “If you want to do something good, put it inside something funny.”
The FCC is taking comments from the internet, and you should leave a comment just as John Oliver encouraged the internet trolls to do. Note that this filing has over 50k comments in the last 30 days. I’d bet a lot of them are because of a comedy video. When no one reads primary sources, it’s probably best to get your angle from a comedy source with a clear agenda.
You can do that here.
Here was my comment, you can use this if it is helpful.
Please do not pass a law that allows broadband providers to individually negotiate terms to provide different companies with different access speeds to the internet. Keep net neutrality in effect as it is meant to be — with everyone getting equal access, not discriminating on the data, and not prioritizing certain web traffic.