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Burger King takes on net neutrality debate — by using Whoppers

Remember that whole “net neutrality” thing? You know, the roll back of internet protections that were enacted under the Obama administration?

Well, it’s back in the news again — but this time for a different reason.

In a now-viral marketing campaign, Burger King has delivered its own hot take on the regulatory showdown — using a flame-grilled Whopper.

In the ad customers, whom the restaurant says are real, are told they will be charged different prices for a Whopper, based on speed, or MBPS (making burgers per second). Prices range from $5 to $26.

And the customers grow increasingly furious in an art-imitating-life display that mocks new internet rules that have led to wide-scale protests, even death threats.

There’s even a jab at Ajit Pai, who heads the federal commission that voted last month to eliminate net-neutrality protections for the internet (hint: look for the colossal Reese’s coffee mug).

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it’s pretty much how the internet has worked since its creation.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era rules, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds.

The FCC decision has led to a fierce pushback by consumers, law enforcement and major corporations.

Last week, a group of attorneys general for 21 states and the District of Columbia sued to block the rules. So did Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, public-interest group Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute. Others may file suit as well, and a major tech-industry lobbying group that includes Google has said it will support litigation.

This week, Montana became the first state to bar telecommunications companies from receiving state contracts if they interfere with internet traffic or favor higher-paying sites or apps.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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