Back in June, I posted the video below in my post, "Cable company f*ckery: If you want to do something evil, do it inside something boring." Allow me to repeat some of that post to set up this one. The video comes to us courtesy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in which he blasts the FCC and explains why net neutrality is so important:
Net neutrality is actually hugely important. Essentially it means that all data has to be treated equally, no matter who creates it. It's why the Internet is a weirdly level playing field.
The point is, the Internet in its current form is not broken, and the FCC is currently taking steps to fix that.
Ending net neutrality would allow big companies to buy their way into the fast lane, leaving everyone else in the slow lane...
Consider who would benefit from this change: Cable companies... These companies have Washington in their pockets...
The guy who used to run the cable industry's lobbying arm is now running the agency tasked with regulating it. That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.
Now let's look at what's happened since that broadcast. The first thing is what many of us hoped would happen. Via The Hill: Internet access debate unleashes firestorm. Good! It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a firestorm to raise hell over maintaining net neutrality.
An avalanche of net neutrality comments have been dumped on the Federal Communications Commission, highlighting the passions stirred over whether Internet service providers like Comcast should be allowed to charge companies more money for quicker delivery of their movies and television shows.
The 670,000 comments — many of them laced with profanity — are about half the number of complaints the FCC received when Janet Jackson’s breast flashed across tens of millions of televisions on Super Bowl Sunday.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency is “mining through” the submissions from lawmakers, content providers, public interest groups and citizens who have seen fit to tell the FCC what is on their mind.
The Hill published a second article about Senate Democrats pushing the FCC to regulate the Internets like telephones:
A group of 11 senators are pressuring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider the way it regulates Internet providers.
The FCC should reclassify Internet providers to treat them like more heavily-regulated phone companies rather than proceed with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to rewrite the agency’s net neutrality rules, the lawmakers said in a letter to Wheeler Tuesday.
Wheeler’s proposal — which critics say would allow Internet providers to charge websites for better access to users — “would end the Internet as we know it,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Tuesday, unveiling the letter.
Other signatories include Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (R-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
I also received an email from DemandProgress.org that included:
Just wanted to make sure you saw this. There's been such an overwhelming response to the FCC's net neutrality proceeding that their website that's supposed to receive comments has CRASHED.
Where's my bell? Ah, here it is:
The FCC is extending the deadline for initial public comments on Chairman Tom Wheeler's controversial net neutrality proposal because of trouble with the commission's online comment system, the agency announced Tuesday. The deadline was set for midnight.
See what happens when we use our voices?