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The comic about net neutrality... and Frank Zappa.
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They're Only In It For The Money

net congestion I've been pondering for some time the best way to illustrate net neutrality in a single cartoon. I can't, but I think I have a good explanation for those who find it too complicated.

First, imagine the internet like our nation's highway system, with each car representing a bit of data. Each car/bit can travel to its destination as fast as the laws will allow, unhindered.

This freedom to travel is net neutrality.

This has been a good, reliable system for years but major ISPs, like Verizon and Comcast, feel they're not making enough money off internet users moving all these bits around so they've conspired to get rid of neutrality and subsequently own the highway system, forever, at which point they'd turn the 'net into a sort of tollway.

If they kill net neutrality they'll slowly begin shunting most internet traffic into fewer 'lanes', which will become, predictably, slow and congested. The other, lesser-traveled lanes will be rented out to big companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook for a lot of money. They will, of course, pass those costs along to you.

New companies, on the other hand, will not be unable to afford the faster lanes so past innovations like Twitter or Pandora, would have withered on the vine. (This is already happening as venture capital firms are choosing not to invest in bandwidth-heavy internet startups.) The smaller sites will eventually die off and the net will become a much less interesting place.

Worse, the 'speed limits' will never increase and the 'roads' will never be improved or expanded as that would eat into the ISPs profits. In fact, the less bandwidth you use, the better, as far as they're concerned.

The 'net effect' is this is that the 'net would be trapped in amber. Except for regular price increases.
This is why you need to contact your local representative and insist that all Internet Service Providers be classified as Common Carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

While you're at it, remind them that it would be in our country's best interest to have a really fast, modern, inexpensive internet, and the best way to do that is to allow access to every city by every ISP. End the internet monopolies now.

Sign the Whitehouse.gov petition to make broadband providers common carriers.

Sign the Whitehouse.gov petition to maintain true net neutrality.

Thank you!


And, just because there's not enough visual distractions on our nation's highways and byways already, I just created this lovely new sticker to give the poor bastard stuck behind you in traffic something to ponder. If you're as enthused as I hope you are you can purchase a copy for yourself on good old Zazzle.


end rant

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"I'm The Slime" by Frank Zappa
I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I'm the tool of the Government
And industry too.
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you.
I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I'm the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out
From your internet.
You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold
Keep net neutrality.

Overturn Citizens United