Did John Oliver’s Netflix Defense, Anti-Net Neutrality Rant Crash FCC Servers?

By Jordan Chariton 

HBO funnyman John Oliver’s 13-minute net neutrality rant from this past Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” might have gotten more than laughs out of viewers.

From Monday through this afternoon, the FCC website received nearly 3,000 comments: almost triple the amount posted on Thursday and Friday combined.

“This is the moment you were made for, commenters,” Oliver said on his show, urging viewers to go to the FCC website and make their comments useful. “We need you to get out there, and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls, turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties!”

Apparently they listened, as the FCC tweeted this on Monday.

For Oliver’s part, he seems sarcastically pleased.


During the segment, Oliver noted new FCC rules on net neutrality favoring Internet providers would hurt streaming services like Netflix, who will have to pay companies like Comcast and Verizon a premium to give their viewers faster, more reliable streaming service.

Oliver also showed a graph of Netflix’s service speed for Comcast customers during Comcast and Netflix’s recent negotiations: download speed sharply declined during negotiations, and only went back up after Netflix agreed to Comcast’s demands.

“That has all the ingredients of a mob shakedown,” Oliver said.