An Idiots Guide To Net Neutrality

If you spend much time on the internet, you’ve probably noticed people online getting agitated over net neutrality. That doctrine which had held strong for the first decades of widespread internet use, dictated that there was to be no bias favoring any user with better connection speed for any reason. The internet flourished with writers of “Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction” having just as much right to the system as Yahoo or Netflix.

It was inevitable that the status quo would be challenged and now the FCC is considering just what the rules will be. The agency has been holding a public comment period, and while some may be very cynical about what the value of that is, much of the internet’s rank and file is mobilizing to let it be known that they will tolerate no dissolution of the traditional ethos that has brought us to this point.

Enter one of the internet’s comedy stalwarts, the imps at College Humor. They’ve rolled out a real big gun of a video to spread the word, skillfully dissecting the matter in a brisk 3 minutes and 51 seconds. It was, however, a lengthier take on the issue from John Oliver (of “The Daily Show” and more recently of “Last Week Tonight” on HBO) that was held up by Netflix’s own Reed Hastings in the company’s official comment on the proposed rule changes. There are some privileges left to being on regular television, after all.

The basic argument is that we’re big believers in the free and open Internet. The key is the principle… If they charge a little bit now, they will charge more and more and more [over time]… The fundamental question is who’s going to pay for the network? It’s the ISP -Reed ‘Fearless Leader’ Hastings


It remains to be seen whether Net Neutrality will endure or be swept away (and indeed, what those things would mean for us), so do what your conscience tells you to do, and in the meantime, watch Netflix streaming like it’s gonna get outlawed.