The Internet is Almost Dead

How will the overnight meme sensation Ajit Pai impact student lives? Bob and his cousin Becky weigh in on this decisive issue.

The Internet is Almost Dead

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is possibly the most hated man in America. But why do so many people hate the guy, including me? The answer lies in the debate over net neutrality.

Bob and Becky are having an intense discussion over this prevalent issue. Bob is for net neutrality, whereas his second-cousin once removed is against it. Let’s hear what they have to say.

Bob: Net neutrality is the basic principle that all data on the internet should be treated equally. Those greedy internet service providers (ISP's) shouldn’t be allowed to have control over what the public sees; it's like George Orwell’s 1984 all over again.

Becky: What do you mean?

Bob: What I mean is, ISP’s like Verizon and Comcast shouldn’t be able to charge certain companies more or less for their data. Neither should they be able to slow down or even block access to certain websites that they deem “unfavorable."

Becky, frustrated: Dude. Entertainment companies like Netflix and YouTube clog the web traffic with huge amounts of data, at no additional expense. Also consider how people utilize BitTorrent to exploit the web highway and download or stream tremendous amounts of video and music files … ILLEGALLY!

Bob, with rising anger and clenched fists: You have to understand that net neutrality protects innovation. The internet has leveled the playing field and allows entrepreneurs and startups a chance to compete against big companies like Google and Netflix. That’s how Facebook rose to global prominence, from Mark Zuckerberg’s university dorm to domination over market leader MySpace.

Or, how about the first amendment: the freedom of speech? Without net neutrality, Comcast could give priority to video from TV networks it owns, such as NBC, and slow down the signals from its rivals such as Netflix or YouTube.

Is it also a surprise that the FCC chairman, a former lawyer for Verizon, is now the chief lobbyist for the telecommunication companies? According to my calculations… this doesn’t add up.

Becky, defeated but confident: Hahaha, fool! In a vote of 3-2, the FCC has repealed net neutrality. Your precious net neutrality will soon be no more! Enjoy your last days of free internet.

Bob: Noooooooo!...