Servers melt as John Oliver once again challenges FCC over net neutrality

9 May 2017

John Oliver, comedian and satirist. Image: Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

FCC servers crash as John Oliver urges viewers to tell agency to

“Once again into the breach, my friends” intoned John Oliver after he returned to the fray that began in 2014, when he tackled the subject of net neutrality.

Oliver previously encouraged viewers to flood the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) website with comments supporting the open internet, causing the FCC’s servers to crash.

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump purposely killed every turkey that Obama ever pardoned’

This time round, he urged people to make their feelings heard at, a redirect to the FCC proceedings page. As a result, the FCC’s servers came crashing down under the weight of protests as well as suspected DNS attacks.

Trump gets his wires crossed and Oliver calls him on it

Oliver, who is a huge success on HBO in the US with his show Last Week Tonight, is one of a number of actors, comedians and satirists outdoing conventional media in exposing the thin skin of the regime of US president Donald Trump.

This week, he targeted Trump’s recently installed Republican chairman, ex-Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, who has begun rolling back the net neutrality protections that had been put in place during the Obama regime.

Net neutrality is a hot potato of our internet-connected age. On the one hand, telecoms players are anxious to share in the revenue that is being made by internet giants over the networks that they have built but, on the other hand, there are fears that services such as search or streaming could be throttled in favour of online platforms that agree to pay money to ISPs and telcos.

In Europe, net neutrality is being upheld across the EU and last year, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, BEREC, published strict new rules governing net neutrality and specific internet fast and slow lanes for cloud services and apps.

On his segment this week, Oliver called Pai out on a plan that will allow telecoms giants such as AT&T and Verizon to favour their own services and create internet fast lanes for the highest bidders.

According to the British comedian, Pai’s suggestion that ISPs could simply “promise” not to obstruct or slow consumer access to websites “would make net neutrality as binding as a proposal on The Bachelor”.

Oliver added that the Trump administration’s decision to roll back the safeguards against net neutrality is no big shock, and he wouldn’t be surprised if “Trump purposely killed every turkey that Obama ever pardoned”.

John Oliver, comedian and satirist. Image: Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years