Al Franken condemns proposed net neutrality rules


Al FrankenMinnesota Senator Al Franken is not pleased with the new proposal to regulate internet traffic put forward by the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Franken calls it “deeply troubling” and “misguided.”

Franken is one of Congress’ loudest voices in favor of net neutrality rules to make sure that ISPs do not prioritize the data coming from companies that pay ISPs more for preferential treatment. Franken is also opposed to Comcast’s planned merger with Time Warner Cable, in part because of concerns that the merged company would have too much control over broadband internet connections.

Wheeler put forward a new net neutrality proposal 4/23 after a federal court struck down the agency’s earlier attempt at rule making earlier this year. Wheeler’s proposal allows ISPs to create fast lanes for websites such as Netflix or Hulu if the company pays more for the access.

“The notion that the FCC might create a fast lane for deep-pocketed companies is deeply disappointing and very troubling,” Minnesota Public Radio quoted Franken as saying. “Chairman Wheeler’s proposal would fundamentally change the open nature of the Internet, and I strongly urge him to reconsider this misguided approach.”

The full text of the proposed rules will be made available to the public 5/15 and the Commission is likely to vote on them before the end of the year.

Franken’s office also released a letter from Netflix condemning the Comcast merger on the grounds that the new company will be powerful enough to squelch competitors.

See the Minnesota Public Radio story here.