US

Net neutrality advocate protests FCC by slowing down street traffic on a bike

A man protested the net neutrality repeal by blocking or slowing traffic on a bicycle outside the FCC's office. The protest was a way of helping viewers understand how important net neutrality is. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

When the FCC repealed net neutrality, advocates of the regulations feared that internet service providers would begin slowing down traffic for some sites and charging fees to users who wanted to access them at normal speeds.

One protester decided to demonstrate the potential effect — by slowing down actual traffic on the street outside the FCC office building.

What did he do?

Rob Bliss set up traffic cones on the street to block all but one lane of traffic. And in that one open lane, he rode on a bicycle, slowly, bring traffic to a crawl.

Bliss wore a sign on his back telling drivers that if they wanted to proceed at normal speed, they could sign up for a “priority access membership” for $5 per month.

Police showed up to remove the cones during each of the several days Bliss staged this same protest, with one officer on day three telling him “I’ll lock your ass up” if Bliss tried to get the cones back and put them on the street.

Eventually, police were forced to patrol that area and prevent him from setting up his protest again.

“If we won’t allow it with our automotive traffic, then we shouldn’t allow it with our internet traffic,” a caption on Bliss’s video read.

What’s going on with net neutrality?

Democratic senators are working to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, and the bill now has 30 co-sponsors, ensuring it will receive a vote on the Senate floor.

Despite the repeal, some states, such as New York and Montana, maintain their net neutrality by way of executive orders by governors.

One last thing…
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