Killing K-Cups and Net Neutrality

Cyber Security, High Technology Posted Jun 4, 2014 by chenpr

Here at CHEN we are intimately familiar with the revolutionary, pod-based efficiency of the Keurig coffee machine. Whether it is a sultry summer day in Boston’s Downtown Crossing or a raw New England winter, those single servings fuel our mornings and jolt our drowsy hearts into action. Our Keurig offers the personal serving size of a French press but without the interminable minutes of wasted time and unnecessary arm strain.

When I think of our Keurig I hear Dennis Leary’s “Built Ford Tough” voice preaching the American working man’s ideal. Only instead of a pickup truck hauling a man-sized load of freshly felled trees or straining under the rugged weight of brick and stone, he’s extolling the virtues of coffee. Hot, black coffee. The stuff that Americans drank when we were taming the West and building cities and winning wars. So you’ll probably understand why recent developments have me so bothered.

In the coming months Green Mountain Coffee, which owns Keurig, will release new technology designed to keep unauthorized coffee pods from working in their machines. As far as Green Mountain is concerned, it’s K-Cup or bust as they try to squeeze a captive market for every last bitter drop.

keurig blog pic

The same thing is happening to the Internet and the assault on Net Neutrality.

Cable companies are using their built in infrastructure and lobbying power to try and force companies to pay extra for access to higher speeds. It threatens to stifle competition and innovation, but at least we’ll get higher prices and a lower quality of service in return.

If there’s one thing besides coffee that Americans love, it’s ubiquitous high-speed Internet. But what can we do? What would Dennis Leary do? Maybe he’d do what John Oliver did and use mocking humor to incite an online riot in defense of Net Neutrality.

Perhaps I’m just a little overzealous about our Keurig, but I think it’s important that we don’t just lie down and accept when people try to smother competition. We live in a country of visionaries and innovators and if we want to stay on top we need to nurture growth. After all, without growth, how will we be able to afford our high-priced, high-tech K-Cups?

If you want to add your voice to the tens of thousands that have already responded in defense of Net Neutrality, you can do so here.