Mockumentary skewers ISPs as Verizon-FCC net neutrality case goes to court

  • Bob Brown (Network World)
  • 09 September, 2013 18:04

A new mockumentary posted on YouTube and backed by a group of net neutrality advocates  makes the case that the FCC is right and Verizon is wrong in a fight that today goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The half-hour film features a bumbling market researcher hired by Verizon and the other big ISPs to spread the word that "The Internet Must Go," though gets an education along the way from U.S. Senator Al Franken (D.-Minn.), Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian, Zipcar founder Robin Chase and others in favor of an open and free Internet.

[A BRIEF HISTORY:Net Neutrality at the FCC]

Interview subjects go to painful extremes to explain the concepts of net neutrality to the researcher, trotting out metaphors about bridges, the electric grid and you name it to get their points across. The interviewer further gets his eyes opened when visiting rural North Carolina and hearing tales of woe regarding poor or no broadband access.

The researcher touts the corporate line for most of the video, supporting their argument that they should be able to use their infrastructure as they see fit given that they paid for it and would pay for upgrades.

Of course the researcher portrayed in this film isn't the only one confused about net neutrality. It's a concept that both sides have done their best to make murky, and that some say has become even more so with the recent perceived flip-flopping by Google on net neutrality now that it is a broadband provider. It's no wonder that industry watchers aren't sure which way the court case might go.

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