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Senator Franken pushes back against FCC 'net neutrality' proposal

updated 02:24 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2014

Senator believes new rules favor established business over startups

As expected, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is launching a campaign to prevent the Federal Communication Commission's recent proposed changes to net neutrality provisos. Using Google and YouTube's pre-purchase battle as an example, Franken believes that the new plan will cripple innovation and give established business an unfair advantage over startups. Franken said in a video from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that "we paid for a free and open Internet. We can't let it be taken away."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposals for net neutrality allege to keep companies from downgrading Internet traffic in their own favor, but also opens up the opportunity for service providers (mostly cable companies) to charge extra for faster content delivery, codifying such deals as those penned by Netflix with Comcast and Verizon. Wheeler claims that the FCC will not tolerate actions by ISPs that "degrade the service for all for the benefit of a few," but it is unclear how this will be judged.

The senator added in his remarks that consumers "cannot allow the FCC to implement a pay-to-play system that silences our voices and amplifies that of big corporate interests. We have come to a crossroads. Now is the time to rise up and make our voices heard to preserve net neutrality."

Franken pointed to the YouTube and Google Video fight from 2006. With both offerings competing for viewers and no interference from Internet Service Providers, users chose YouTube over Google Video (which ultimately led to Google buying the service). Franken believes that the outcome would have been different had Google been able to purchase priority access.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Go, Al! Keep fighting against Comcrap and TWC, too...

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Go, Al.

    I don't care what your political beliefs are, it should be nearly impossible for any thinking individual with a concern for the future of their own access to information to *not* be in favor of net neutrality. It doesn't take much imagination to see how the lack thereof could be abused horribly by people of any political stripe to mute ideas in a debate or stifle competition in business, so no matter what your beliefs are you should be scared of "the other side's" ability to do that.

    And the only way to prevent it is to make sure all information is equal.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Al's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  1. null_pointer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-29-07

    Why thank you Mr. Strat for your well thought out and compelling argument in favor of well funded corporate interests controlling your access to information.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'd be interested in hearing who in the Senate Mr. Strat thinks is any "sharper" than Sen. Franken. I don't know his positions on other issues, but he's been a strong consumer advocate from what I've seen thus far, and not prone to any boneheaded statements that I can recall.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by Mr. StratView Post

    Al's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    Really? With a degree in government from Harvard? The guy is smarter than me, and probably smarter than you as well. I'm proud of what he's doing for my state, as well as for the country. He's a huge advocate for consumer interest. He's following the footsteps of Wellstone.

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