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Franken backs Obama call for Internet to be regulated as public utility

President Obama released a video Monday morning endorsing net neutrality.
Sen. Al Franken

“What the president is asking the FCC to do — to reclassify Internet service as a utility — is simply common sense, and it would ensure that rich corporations couldn’t pay for an Internet fast lane,” Franken said in a statement. “Net neutrality is a simple concept: all content on the Internet must travel at the same speed. It’s been the architecture of the Internet since it was created. It’s made the Internet a platform for enormous innovation and economic growth. And it should stay that way. I hope the FCC agrees.”

Obama said the FCC should pass several other net neutrality protections, including banning a “fast lane” to deliver content more quickly for companies that pay for it. He also called for similar regulations for cellular carriers.

Obama’s comments don’t act as a formal policy shift for the government since only the FCC can set the regulations (unless Congress directs the FCC to regulate in a certain way, something that is highly unlikely). More than 3.9 million people submitted comments to the FCC on net neutrality over the summer, and regulators could soon rule on how they plan to address it going forward.

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/10/2014 - 04:03 pm.

    “If you like your internet provider

    you can keep your internet provider!”

    It seems to me that the federal courts have already ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to regulate the internet as a utility.

    Thank God. These are the same people who want to control your health care.

  2. Submitted by Jim Million on 11/11/2014 - 07:09 am.

    Marginal Utility of Regulation

    Tax it? Tax it again? Tax is some more?

  3. Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/11/2014 - 08:33 am.

    “Net Neutrality” is a lame term

    This is about who owns the web.

    IF anyone can simply monopolize it & smother one segment based upon how well the skids are greased toward another.

    ARPANet was a government project, as so many development projects are, or were. It eventually yielded the internet we have today.

    This is closer to cable.
    If you want a sports channel – then you will have to buy the deluxe package.

    “you can keep your internet provider”
    should be replaced with – can you actually CHANGE providers in many markets & communities?

    And, “why do some big internet companies try to block municipalities from setting up their own internet & wifi?”

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/11/2014 - 09:08 am.

      Government-established monopolies

      Cable and internet monopolies exist in municipalities because those municiplalities wanted it that way. The franchise went to the highest backroom bidder to the exclusion of all others. Like all other real monopolies in this society (electricity, water) it was established and supported by government.

      And the reason private enterprise tries to prevent government from entering their marketplace, where they exist, is because it’s not the role of the governrment to compete in private markets with the unfair advantage of unlimited taxpayer money. It’s the reason why you don’t have the Mpls city government selling 5-cent hot dogs on the Nicollet mall and why governments shouldn’t be talking about building broadband networks with taxpayer money. That’s not their job and it’s unfair to the citizens who are trying to make a living.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/11/2014 - 10:42 am.

        So then

        How exactly do you plan to obtain the right of way for hundreds of electric, gas, water, phone, cable, and fiber lines to set up this supposed competition you desire. Utilities are regulated as such due to the fact they are natural monopolies, due to the constraints of their delivery systems, no government influence needed. Perhaps this might change with technological advance, but as it stands the pipe has to come from somewhere and given the great cost of installation we’re going to be stuck where we are. I’d also LOVE to see your business model for the company thats going to lay the line for sparsely populated rural customers, basically ensuring bankruptcy for themselves and zero returns to their investors. I wonder if your newfound rural constituency read that part of the party platform, particulary the businesspersons.

      • Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/12/2014 - 06:57 am.

        Blame the Romans: Darn Aqueducts!

        Darn Aqueducts & Rural Electrification!
        What business does any government have in doing anything!

        Unfair competition for water & sewage. And what’s with all that pavement?
        Because so many private companies were clamoring for to fill the roles & services.

        The Right to Plunder, is closer to what you are talking about.
        Edward Teach would have bought into that!

  4. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/11/2014 - 08:57 am.


    I receive multiple attempts to defraud and steal from me through internet inquiries and emails everyday. A typical example:

    “I have called your office number but cannot connect
    to you and i have sent you several email but no reply
    from you. my emails to you are bounced back. Now i
    use new email to forward you the second revised invoice
    you sent. could you please look into attached
    revised invoice of yours and confirm if this invoice was
    altered by you. your company information doesn’t seem right.
    who is WEN YU LIMITED? I have highlighted the changes in red on the attached invoice. please check and confirm back. we are confused as we don’t know the invoice to use.”

    In this case the “invoice” was a script to hack my computer. ISP’s have failed miserably at controlling this. Somebody, something needs to step up.

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