Burger King Takes a Stance on Net Neutrality

Net neutrality has become a popular topic in recent months. Enacted initially in 2010, this wide-reaching legislation requires internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally. For example, an ISP can't charge a customer a fee for using Netflix or Facebook, nor can they throttle the speed at which individual websites or web services load.

On December 14, 2017, however, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to end net neutrality. While some consumers are concerned about this recent development, most people don't know enough about net neutrality to say whether it's good or bad. In an effort to educate the public about net neutrality, Burger King recently conducted a prank that was filmed and uploaded to YouTube.

In the video, a Burger King employee asks customers who purchased a Whopper if they want the slow, fast or hyperfast Mbps service, with a sign showing a substantial price difference between the three made-up burger options. As most tech enthusiasts know, Mbps is an acronym for megabits per second. It's a common metric used by ISPs when describing their service speeds. In the Burger King prank, however, the employee, while somehow managing to keep a straight face, says Mbps refers to "making burgers per second."

When customers question the fast-food chain's new tiered options, the employee explains that Burger King believes the company can make more money by selling chicken sandwiches and fries, so it's "slowing down" the Whopper.

What pushes customers' buttons is when the employee says he has Whopper sandwiches ready, but he's not allowed to sell them. The employee forces customers to wait, after which he finally gives them a Whopper. At the end of the video, customers share their thoughts on net neutrality.

The roughly three-minute-long video is entertaining to watch. More importantly, though, it offers a fresh, simplified explanation of net neutrality and how it works. In the video, Burger King essentially takes the role if an ISP, charging customers more for faster access. With net neutrality gone, the U.S. internet service industry may look strikingly similar shortly.

So, what's next for net neutrality? Although the FCC repealed the legislation, the battle isn't over. A group of U.S. attorney generals has announced plans to fight the FCC's decision in court. Some Congress members are also seeking to restore internet freedom.


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