Senators Al Franken from Minnesota and Brian Schatz from Hawaii were pleased when the FCC announced it would propose new rules regulating broadband carriers, as reported by MPR News.
Senator Franken, who has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality, said “we dodged a bullet” referring to a proposal from Verizon to establish “fast lanes” to the internet companies could pay for. Franken and other lawmakers spoke out against the proposal, since it would give an unfair advantage to large corporations online.
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In November, Senator Franken said that Ted Cruz “didn’t understand net neutrality” on an interview with CNN. Ted Cruz criticized net neutrality as yet more government intervention, and said it was “Obamacare for the internet, ” and that it “would put the government in charge of determining internet pricing, terms of service, and what types of products and services could be delivered.”
Franken explained that the analogy to Obamacare by Cruz was a poor one, because net neutrality doesn’t involve reforming a system extensively, but keeping things the same; “We have had net neutrality the entire history of the internet, ” Senator Franken said on CNN, “This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same.”
Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii wrote an open letter in the Huffington Post in support of net neutrality. “Why has the internet worked so well? Because it’s a level playing field.”
Senator Schatz said the FCC should adopt broadband rules that cover three areas: “no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization.”
In short, companies should not be able to block certain competing sites, slow down internet traffic based on content or establishing “pay to play” schemes.