Skip to main content

Web hosting company puts FCC in the 'slow lane' in net neutrality protest

Web hosting company puts FCC in the 'slow lane' in net neutrality protest

Share this story

The most controversial aspect of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's revised net neutrality proposal is the so-called "fast lane" provision that would allow ISPs to charge companies extra cash for faster access to internet users. Now one small web hosting company is giving the FCC a taste of its own medicine. NeoCities creator Kyle Drake rounded up the FCC's internal IP address range and has since slowed things to a crawl for anyone accessing his company's website at the commission. (Actual sites being hosted by NeoCites aren't part of the protest.) Connections coming in from the FCC are limited to just 28.8Kbps, to be specific. That's slower than dial-up speeds from 15 years ago.

"Since the FCC seems to have no problem with this idea, I've (through correspondence) gotten access to the FCC's internal IP block, and throttled all connections from the FCC to 28.8kbps modem speeds on the front site," creator Kyle Drake said yesterday. "I'm not removing it until the FCC pays us for the bandwidth they've been wasting instead of doing their jobs protecting us from the 'keep America's internet slow and expensive forever' lobby." Like countless others, Drake says it's "time for the web to organize and stand up against these thugs before they ruin everything that the web stands for."

In the grand scheme of things, the protest means little. It's doubtful that many people browsing the web at the FCC have ever visited or even heard of NeoCities. But that's not the point. Drake wants the FCC to see firsthand what may become reality for web users everywhere if the commission continues to rush through a topic of paramount importance. And to help enforce that message, he's uploaded the necessary code for throttling the FCC to GitHub so other developers can follow his lead.