By Royale Decree: The Burger King Wades Into Net Neutrality Battle
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Understanding net neutrality can be difficult for those who are not technologically inclined, yet it’s an issue that affects us all. Now, to help clear up the confusion, Burger King has converted the issue of net neutrality into terms that everyone can understand: cheeseburgers.
In a hilarious yet eye-opening ad, Burger King applied the rules of slowing down and speeding up service that many fear will be the consequence of net neutrality’s repeal to their Whopper burgers, requiring real-life customers to pay more if they wanted their Whopper right away and recording their reaction. As you might imagine, customers were not pleased.
This ad – which has taken the internet by storm – provides a bit of comic relief to a serious issue that continues to take twists and turns. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that requires state agencies to only do business with ISPs whose networks remain neutral. This move will force ISPs in the state to continue following the rules of net neutrality despite its repeal lest they lose a large portion of their business. More states could follow suit with this tactic, as the governor of Montana has already signed a similar order.
All of this begs the question of just how much effect the repeal of net neutrality will really have. Like the Burger King customers, people paying for internet service are not going to be too pleased with their provider speeding up and slowing down service on a whim. With state governments saying they will not give their business to any ISP that does not follow the rules of net neutrality, we’re already seeing a backlash from the market before any real changes have been made.
It’s easy to imagine, then, a scenario where the free market solves the issue of net neutrality on its own, forcing ISPs to either tow the line or risk losing their business to competitors that do. After all, when it comes to burgers and internet access alike, the customer is king.