It’s been a few weeks since FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” order to reverse net neutrality passed at the commission, and in that time, various companies have put together protests and videos trying to illustrate the issue (including a rather clever ad from Burger King).
But video director Rob Bliss has taken things a step further. With the help of a few traffic cones and some very slow bicycling, he tried to create literal fast and slow lanes of traffic outside the FCC’s headquarters through his “Restoring Automotive Freedom” program, via Bicycling.com.
Bliss seems to have embraced Pai’s words about how before net neutrality “innovators ... transformed how billions of people live and work without asking anyone’s permission” by literally blocking off the road outside the FCC’s office. “Customers” who wanted access to the fast lane could buy a Rob Bliss Priority Access Card for a mere $5 per month, restoring the same freedom of choice that Chairman Pai claims will come with the removal of net neutrality for internet consumers.
Unfortunately, the Washington, DC Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security didn’t quite agree with Bliss’ protest, and they restored full, unthrottled access to the road. (As a general reminder, it’s a good idea to obey local laws and not antagonize members of the police and national security agencies.)
While slowing down traffic and slowing down internet traffic isn’t necessarily a perfect one-to-one analogy, Bliss does have a point: paid prioritization is bad, and when people block lanes, they should be told to stop.