A popular fast food restaurant is trying to educate its customers about the pitfalls of net neutrality by charging them more to have a popular food item made faster.
Recognizing that the issue can be confusing for a lot of Americans, Burger King released a video on Wednesday describing how the regulation of the internet would protect users online from having to pay extra fees on the web. They did so by using the Whopper, the most popular menu item at the restaurant, which is served out about 3.5 million times at Burger King locations across America on an average day.
A Burger King restaurant video recorded customers ordering food and getting confused about the wait times they were having in getting their Whoppers. Customers who paid the regular price for a burger would have to wait several minutes to get it, but if they paid $25.99 they could get it that second.
Many were outraged about the exorbitant fees.
“I feel like I’m going insane,” said one customer. “This is f***ing crazy.”
That’s precisely the point that the restaurant was trying to make about net neutrality. Charging customers more to get their meal right away makes no sense — and neither does waiting longer to access internet sites.
Net neutrality was a President Barack Obama-era rule that made it so internet service providers couldn’t slow down service for some customers while charging more for “fast lanes” of net use. The rule was one that gave every user of the internet the same access to whichever sites they were searching for at the moment.
But that rule was repealed in December by the Federal Communications Commission, led by Ajit Pai. It was a move that late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel derided on his program at the time as hurtful for Americans, but helpful to wealthy companies.
“Thank you, President [Donald] Trump. Thanks to you — and this jack*** you appointed to run the FCC — big corporations are about to take full control of the internet,” Kimmel explained.
The issue of net neutrality is one the American people need to demand that Congress fix. Companies like Burger King are doing a tremendous service educating the public about the issue so that hopefully their customers can call representatives to make their voices heard.
Net neutrality allowed the internet to be used equally by anyone who was able to log on, regardless of their income level. The repeal by the FCC last month changes that, which hurts the democratization of the world wide web in some very troubling ways.
You can “have it your way,” of course, but it could cost you more unless net neutrality is reinstated.