Burger King weighs in on net neutrality with $26 Whopper
Burger King's latest social experiment is showing the fast-food company is in full support of net neutrality.
Really want it your way?
When it comes to accessing the internet, Burger King's latest social experiment is showing the fast-food company is in full support of net neutrality — the federal policy that requires all internet traffic to be treated equally by internet service providers.
A video released Wednesday and entitled, "WHOPPER Neutrality," pranks real customers and aims to "help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives," according to Burger King.
The Federal Communications Commission voted in December to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules, marking a major victory for large internet service providers.
Essentially, the FCC's decision could allow the service providers to create so-called fast and slow lanes for subscribers — and open up higher fees that could be passed down to users.
But some public officials, activists and tech companies, including Apple, Google and Amazon, have been in favor of keeping net neutrality rules in place, fearing that service providers could also block or slow access to certain websites.
Comcast, one of the nation's biggest service providers, has said it has "no plans" to create fast lanes and "will not" block or slow sites. (Comcast is part of Comcast NBCUniversal, the owner of NBC News.)
It wasn't immediately clear why Burger King has decided to take a side on the issue.
The fast-food chain previously went off-brand last fall in an anti-bullying video that also tricked real guests. In 2014, the company also unveiled a Proud Whopper that was sold in San Francisco and came in a rainbow-colored wrapper that read: "We are all the same inside."
As part of the latest prank, the Whopper — Burger King's flagship sandwich — is sold to unsuspecting customers in tiers. While download and upload speeds are measured in Mbps, or megabits per second, Whoppers in the video are sold based on "making burgers per second."
So for a "slow Mbps," customers were asked to pay $4.99. For a "fast Mbps," they had to fork over $12.99. And for "hyperfast Mbps," the Whoppers cost $25.99 apiece.
While many of the customers balked at the higher prices — a Whopper typically goes for just over $4 — at least one man in the video paid the premium.
"Are you kidding me? You paid $26 for a Whopper?" one woman asked him.
"He's higher priority, so ...," responded a worker.
The video ends with Burger King saying, "The internet should be like the Whopper: the same for everyone."
The fate of net neutrality, however, remains unresolved. Attorneys general for 21 states and Washington, D.C., are suing to block its repeal, but internet changes could go into effect as early as this year.