Saturday, January 17, 2015

White House Goes Upworthy: Video of Obama Helping 'To Make Your Internet Faster'

    The White House branched out into yet another social media venue Tuesday. Upworthy, the popular you-won't-believe-what-happened-next site, was given an exclusive on a White House video of President Obama discussing the executive action he plans to take to improve internet speeds in US cities. In true White House fashion, the Upworthy video and article were promoted with re-tweets on Twitter Tuesday night, such as this one from a women who gushed, "I love how tech savvy POTUS is -- this video is awesome!"

    Similar to the free community college proposal from last week, the faster internet pitch is a preview of an item the president plans to include in his 2015 State of the Union address. In the video, the president discusses his upcoming trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the city that the president intends to hold forth as a model of internet done right:

    The Upworthy article accompanying the video explains in true Upworthy fashion:
The reason why Cedar Falls has such crazy-fast Internet? 
They got together as a community and built their own public network. 
And they run it like a utility. So the same way that you pay the heating bill or the gas bill, you pay an Internet bill. And because the whole city pitched in, they're able to offer fiber-optic networks' blazing fast speeds. 
The article also takes a shot at current internet providers for being part of the problem:
The problem is that some companies — not saying who, not pointing fingers...  
...aren't too keen on the competition. So they've been throwing vast sums of money at politicians in cities around the U.S. to dissuade them from building their own networks. They've also been pressuring communities with pre-existing networks from expanding their services into suburban and rural areas where the cable companies are the only game in town. 
But what's the problem with a little competition? 
That's capitalism, yo.
    Incidentally, Open Secrets reports that the top two recipients of campaign donations from Comcast-related PACs and individuals in the 2012 election cycle were the DNC Services Corp. ($415,329) and Barack Obama ($328,128).
    That's politics, yo.

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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