Have you ever wondered how the Internet’s physical infrastructure works? Who owns it and why that might matter? In the spring and summer of 2008, CUP and CUP teaching artist Helki Frantzen worked with youth from New York City’s City-As-School and People’s Production House to investigate the politics of the Internet in New York City. The resulting video follows the adventures of an extra-terrestrial studying communications technology on planet Earth.
The alien’s investigations bring her into contact with city council members, Verizon engineers, law professors, telco hotels, subterranean landlords, and packet switchers. Underneath the physical structures that move the data around, the alien discovers a pattern of ownership and regulation more shocking than she could have imagined.
The Internet is Serious Business is available as a packaged DVD with an Educator’s Guide to help teachers use the video in the classroom and get people talking about the Internet and how we can make it better. The guide is packed with discussion questions and exercises that educators can use to reinforce and expand upon the themes of the video. The video is also a great tool for community organizations looking to explain concepts like net neutrality in an accessible and fun way.
Get your own copy of the video and educator’s guide here!
You can also watch the video here: