A strange billboard has popped up in San Francisco. White capital letters on a red background read, “The future of the internet belongs to the highest bidder,” followed by the website jointhefastlane.com.
The billboard is an ad for an alleged company called Fastlane, which purports to give you, for a considerable fee, “priority access to the websites you love.” Copy on the site reads:
The future of the Internet is here. Receive priority access to dozens of websites and services, with more being added every month. Priority sites load up to 35x faster than non-priority sites. Cut through the noise and enjoy a premium, curated experience.
There is a range of packages listed for purchase on the site, ranging from “Basic” to “Extreme,” and costing between $99 and $199.99 for a subscription. Buying these packages will supposedly give you “fastlane” access to popular websites like “Movieflix” and “Videotube” featuring logos reminiscent of Netflix and YouTube, respectively. Clicking on “Sign Up Now” returns you to the top of the page, with an error message informing you that access is privileged to “members.”
Fastlane appears to be a Yes Men-style parodic stunt, mostly evident in featured site names like AOLol.com, Ruddit.com, Tweeter.com and Wikiapedia.com.
So far, no one has come forward to claim responsibility the Fastlane billboard and website, or even really noticed it (their Twitter account currently has 19 followers). However, it’s a sleek and frustrating demonstration of what is possible if the FCC dismantles net neutrality. (Images: Fastlane)