Following John Oliver's piece on net neutrality, Tom Wheeler reacts
Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has issued what is perhaps the funniest statement from a govt official in a while. As a response to John Oliver’s infamous video on net neutrality, Wheeler said that he is not a dingo.He is referring, of course, to the video from the show of comedian John Oliver where net neutrality is explained and where he clearly favors the concept and urges the proper authorities to make sure not to pass the control over the Internet to the service providers.
In the same piece, Oliver criticized the White House for naming Tom Wheeler, a former cable industry lobbyist, as the leader of the commission that handles the freedom of the Internet.
Not only did he point out the silliness of the entire situation, but he compared the appointment to hiring a dingo to babysit you kid, alluding to the famous child disappearance case from the 1980’s.
“I would like to state for the record that I am not a dingo,” Wheeler said, showing a little bit of his sense of humor. He added that he likes John Oliver, whose video he found to be creative and funny.
However, he did admit that the popularity of the video illustrates the high level of interest in the topic.
In fact, following the broadcasting of the video, FCC’s site went down due to the high number of commenters. This is mostly due to Oliver’s call to arms, where he invited Internet trolls everywhere to unleash their fury on the FCC’s website.
The FCC had, after all, invited people to comment on the proposed set of rules for 90 days before making a final decision.
Tom Wheeler has been defending the proposal ever since its content was leaked to the media months ago, well before the document was actually revealed officially. If Wheeler has his way, the Internet would function on two lanes, basically allowing ISPs to create a so-called “fast-lane” where only select companies with deep pockets could connect to.
The deals that the FCC wants to allow are reiterations of the ones signed by Netflix with Comcast and Verizon after its streaming service reached extremely low speeds for customers signed to these ISPs.
This issue alone goes completely against the very principle of net neutrality that states that all Internet traffic must be treated equally. Wheeler has defended his stance, saying that this wouldn’t change things at all, which tech companies and advocacy groups have argued against.