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Ted Stevens Gets ‘An Internet’

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[ Technology]

The Net Neutrality debate got a little comic relief last week after an impassioned speech by Senator Ted Stevens against legislating certain limitations on broadband providers. Stevens, who is most famous for his “Bridge To Nowhere” grandstanding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina budgeting, voiced disappointment over the delay in receiving “an internet” from his staff.

Said the 82-year-old Alaska Republican with the onus of rewriting telecommunications law for the 21st Century:

“I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday [five days later].”

Well, internets are really big, you know. But Stevens appears to realize that as he explains how this complex system works. Did you know the Internet is kind of like a stuffed sausage?

the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

You can’t go overfilling the tubes! Can you imagine if you put too much cream into a Long John? Your fingers get all sticky and you walk into the Commerce Committee covered in internet.

What he lacks in analogous explanatory power, he doesn’t make up for in eloquence. But perhaps that was how it was explained to him by his contributors. This is complicated stuff. Verizon and AT&T wouldn’t want to confuse an old man. I know my grandpa, also born in 1923, glazes over when any of us mention “that ol’ computer stuff.” Maybe we should bring in the tube angle. He gets tubes.

At Wired.com’s 27B Stroke 6 weblog, the authors obtained a copy of Stevens’ internet for a forensic investigation on why it took nearly a week to get to him. They had it sent Fed-Ex “to avoid internet rush hour.” It appears the internet was broken into packets, each one going on its own misadventure for finally appearing in Stevens’ inbox.

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Ted Stevens Gets ‘An Internet’
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