The latest episode of Netflix variety talk show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj focuses on the digital divide. I have been a fan of Hasan Minhaj since I watched his Netflix special Homecoming King. Later discovering him on The Daily Show. Now, his weekly show offers his unique on less reported issues. This week, he delves into the whole FCC attempt to stymie internet access.
In the episode, Minhaj breaks down some of the many reasons why internet access is so terrible across much of the US, including the roles of carriers and the Federal Communications Commission. Also, why it is in their best interest in not developing improved internet access. You guessed it, it all comes down to profits. As well as their attempt to block municipal internet providers.
The episode, “Why Your Internet Sucks,” is a compelling watch. It’s a strong look at why millions of Americans are missing out on fixed broadband and why that’s such a problem. For instance, “About three million kids across the country have trouble completing their homework because they don’t have adequate internet,” Minhaj said.
He points out the irony that people who have a strong enough connection to stream the episode probably aren’t affected by the problem. So, the Patriot Act team is putting the episode on DVD, which you can rent through Netflix’s DVD mail rental service. Around 2.7 million people in the US still get Netflix’s red DVD envelopes, so you can order the episode on a disc even if, say, you’re struggling with a dial-up connection. Alternatively, the whole episode is on YouTube, so you can watch it even without a Netflix subscription.
It is something that is generally reported on technology blogs, it is an important issue to look at. This is a class issue, not race. It affects low-income white families, as well as African-American communities. Many should look into the issue and force the government and the FCC to start doing the bidding of the communities, not the corporations.