Big Cable Wasting Money On Ads That Look Like They're Supporting Internet Slowdown

from the rather-incredible dept

Today, as you may have heard, is Internet Slowdown Day, in which a bunch of folks are calling attention to the fight at the FCC concerning net neutrality. The basic idea — as you may have seen on this very site — is to host some “spinning wheel” banners, highlighting the kind of internet that we may have to live with if the big broadband providers get their way and are allowed to set up tollbooths online, picking winners and losers based on who will pay the most. We’ve been hearing that the big broadband players are a bit nervous about this — as often seems to happen when it comes to real grassroots efforts. They’ve attempted to set up some fake grassroots efforts. We’ve even heard rumors that they’ve been trying to “infiltrate” planning meetings for Internet Slowdown Day. But this one takes the cake. In response to this campaign, cable’s main lobbying arm, NCTA, has launched an advertising campaign that… um… looks kinda like the Internet Slowdown Day campaign, reminding people that they’re nervous about Big Cable cutting off access. Here are two of the ads NCTA is currently running:

Of course, if you look at those ads, they actually (1) look like they’re a part of Internet Slowdown Day and (2) remind people of exactly what they fear most about Big Cable: the inability to connect to certain sites. No one (and I do mean no one) thinks that, if the FCC implements true open internet rules, they’ll suddenly be “unable to connect” to any particular sites. The only place where that’s a fear is if the FCC doesn’t put in place good rules and allows companies, like the cable companies NCTA represents, to start blocking access to certain sites.

So, either this a case where some ad designer at NCTA is a subversive double agent really helping “Team Internet,” or the folks at NCTA and Big Cable are really so buried in their own wonkdom, they don’t realize just how much this ad appears to support the other team. Either way, thanks, Big Cable and your lobbyists for highlighting exactly what most of us fear. An internet where we are “unable to connect” to sites because the FCC has killed off net neutrality…

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Companies: ncta

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Comments on “Big Cable Wasting Money On Ads That Look Like They're Supporting Internet Slowdown”

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Anonymous Coward says:

You missed another option, which is that they’re intentionally playing on ignorance by making those who don’t know the issue but want to fashionably support “the right side”, which obviously must be the websites protesting with these slowdown ads. If it works, someone with no opinion but who wants to do the right thing will come away from the experiencing thinking they now have an opinion on the right side of the issue, but simultaneously think the right side is what Big Cable wants them to think.

ECA (profile) says:

show me

For those old enough to remember:

When utilities were NOT on the stock market, and REQUIRED them to make a profit..Using 20+ year old tech and only upgrading after something broke, maybe..

WHEN utilities WERE controlled by an office that was controlled by YOU, and Balanced for the area…That wasnt REQUIRED to make a profit, and be bought on the STOCK MARKET.. was REPAIRED by your tax dollars and FIXED/UPGRADED when needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: show me

Actually this is my hope… An infrastructure in the US to mirror South Korea, where we build out a national fiber network that allows providers to compete for service to individual households/businesses. We accomplished this mostly with electricity, so why is it so hard to do the same for fiber? The benefits in education, communication, and general wellness of the US population far exceeds the cost, and the added benefit of jobs created to do the work of wiring the whole country will last years. We honestly could have started this during the bank crisis to get the most out of the benefits, but anytime imho is a good one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: show me

Not old enough to remember, but with few exceptions, the only times I can ever remember the electricity going out are during a severe storm, which is somewhat to be expected. The power grid, for all the criticism it gets, is one of the most amazingly-reliable pieces of technology ever. The Internet is, too, but I need two hands to count the number of times it’s gone down this month.

shanen (profile) says:

LOTS of good charities

I agree that this is an important cause, and if I was made of money, then I would probably support it. Too bad I’m not so rich.

Hey, how about #MDFC (More Democratic Funding Campaign) options after such articles. There would be 3 to 5 links to SOLUTIONS for the problems. Aren’t you just too tired of hearing about all these problems? I could look at the options and pledge some money to support one (or more). If enough people agree with me that the project is good–which includes SUCCESS criteria, in stark contrast to Kickstarter–then the project gets the money.

Not sure if I would support TechDirt to hold the money, however… Maybe I just don’t know them well enough, but I think I’d prefer a charitable foundation, though they could give TechDirt a small return for their support. (In other words, if 5,000 people pledge to support some specific project after arriving from TechDirt, then there would be a monetary incentive.)

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