[View:http://community.cengage.com/GECResource/themes/gew/ utility/ :550:0] Video of John Oliver on Last Week Tonight, [warning regarding language] via YouTube If you want a painless way to learn about the ostensibly boring (but important) topic of "Net Neutrality," then listen to the John Oliver piece. Unfortunately, you have to be willing to endure a lot of bad language. Basically, phone/cable companies (specifically, Comcast , Verizon and AT&T ) want to end the practice of equal access to internet bandwidth. They want to implement a two-tier system that would allow big phone and cable companies premium access, and slower access for the rest of us. The Slate article linked below does a summary of some of the salient points of the issue: " Traditionally, with a few exceptions, the cable and phone companies have not blocked particular websites or discriminated in favor or against any of them. For the past decade, the FCC has made it clear it would punish a cable or phone company for deviating from providing 'neutral' access. In January, the FCC lost an important court decision, which said that the FCC does not have the authority to stop phone or cable companies from discriminating against websites or creating “'ast' and 'slow lanes' on the Internet—unless the FCC chooses to act under a particular part of the law known as Title II. Rather than act under Title II, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a rule that would permit the phone and cable companies to engage in discrimination, subject to fairly useless conditions. The FCC has received tens of thousands of citizen comments and stern letters from open Internet supporters in the Senate and Congress. The president—who repeatedly promised that he would ensure neutral access to the Internet without paid-for fast lanes—has provided almost no support for Wheeler, with the White House issuing distancing press statements. The chairman’s two fellow Democratic commissioners critiqued his plan publicly. " Oliver provided additional perspective regarding some of the operational tidbits regarding the big phone/cable companies. And almost everyone has agreed with him. But on the other side of the issue--in favor of the two-tier system are: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T politicians and citizens who oppose "anything Obama is for" the FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, and Jon Healey, who wrote an opinion piece this week in the Los Angeles Times that has some internet traction Healey makes the point that Oliver is mainly a comedian, and should not be taken seriously. He also says, " The real question is what's the best way to preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and content, without interference from the cable and phone companies that dominate the market for broadband connections ." He mentions that many conservative and liberal observers oppose the FCC messing with the current open situation. These are not really arguments that support his opposition to Oliver's position. Nevertheless, the headline seems to be opposed. Since this is an issue which will have a major effect on everyone who uses the internet, it is probably important to have an opinion and to take advantage of a unique opportunity to state your opinion at the highest level. In case you want to actually comment where your comments will count, contact the FCC yourself at this website: Source: " John Oliver’s Hilarious Net Neutrality Piece Speaks the Truth...and nothing but ," by Marvin Ammori, Slate, June 6, 2014. " John Oliver finds humor in net neutrality, but loses the facts ," by Jon Healey, The Los Angeles Times Opinion , June 5, 2014. F ollow up: What arguments can you make IN FAVOR OF a change in the law to allow two-tiers of internet band width? Weigh those arguments against strengthening protections to keep the internet open. According to the Slate article, what are the more nuanced Business Law issues that are part of the net neutrality issue?