Web hosting provider give FCC a dose of life without net neutrality

Company throttles the agency's Internet speed to that of a 28.8k baud modem.

Warning: schadenfreude alert.

In a protest to supprt net neutrality, a Web hosting service has decided to teach the Federal Communications Commission a lesson by crippling the FCC’s access to any page it hosts by throttling the agency’s network down to 1990s-era dial-up modem speeds of 28.8 kbps.

In a blog post last week, Neocities founder Kyle Drake said he did this to protest the FCC’s controversial proposals to allow ISPs to create Internet "fast lanes" for large corporations that can afford to pay while forcing the rest of us plebs onto the slower, more congested Internet lanes.

"The bonehead responsible for this idiotic and insane proposal is no less than the chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, a cable industry hand-picked lobbyist," wrote Drake.

"The FCC isn’t doing their job of protecting American consumers, or producers like Neocitites users. Perhaps they got a dump truck full of money from the cable corporation lobby, or perhaps they’re too busy surfing Neocities sites. Well either way, it looks like they need some help remembering what their job is," he added.

"Since the FCC seems to have no problem with this idea, I’ve (through correspondence) gotten access to the FCC’s internal IP block, and throttled all connections from the FCC to 28.8-kbps modem speeds on the Neocities.org front site, and I’m not removing it until the FCC pays us for the bandwidth they’ve been wasting instead of doing their jobs protecting us from the ‘keep America’s Internet slow and expensive forever’ lobby," he concluded.

Drake went off on a strange tangent about what he calls a "Ferengi plan," in reference to the uber-greedy species of aliens from the Star Trek universe, but his point was made and earned laughs across the Net, from Reddit and Slashdot.

How much of an impact Neocities can have is debatable. It's merely a Web hosting site, just like the company that had a similar-sounding name, GeoCities. And in a bit of good news and rare bipartisanship, both Democrats and Republicans alike are rebelling against Wheeler's proposal for "high speed lanes." There has also been significant pushback by Silicon Valley venture capitalists. The Valley has been fairly unanimous in its support for the Obama Administration, but they are pushing back hard on this.

The FCC just announced that it has opened a new inbox for comments before the commission votes on the draft on May 15. If you wish to comment – and the comments will be made public – send an email to openinternet@fcc.gov.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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