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Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality" 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Senator Al Franken can be counted among the many who are at odds with the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules. From the article: 'Senator Al Franken has a pretty good idea of what the term "net neutrality" means—and that, he says, puts him head-and-shoulders above many of his colleagues in the U.S. Congress. "We literally have members of Congress—I've heard members of the House—say, 'We've had all this innovation on the Internet without net neutrality. Why do we need it now?'" he told TIME in an interview last week. "I want to say, 'Come on, just try to understand the idea. Or at least just don't give a speech if you don't know what you're saying. Please—it hurts my head."'"
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Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality"

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  • Good for Al Franken (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thermopile (571680) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:24PM (#46975769) Homepage
    From Stuart Smalley [jt.org] to drawing all 50 states from memory on a blank sheet of paper [youtube.com], Al Franken continues to earn my respect. Would that more politicians were as astute as he is.

    Good for him.

  • Al Franken (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rick Zeman (15628) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:36PM (#46975829)

    ...is the only person in the Senate who seems to have not been bought and sold by lobbyists.

  • by suutar (1860506) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:47PM (#46975891)

    I agree this is not much of a surprise. I gotta ask, though. If not the government, exactly who has enough power to get the telecom industry to actually behave?

  • Parent is a Troll (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bussdriver (620565) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:07PM (#46976149)

    I lived in MN during his election and I even listened occasionally to his radio show. He was nothing like Rush Limbaugh and at least he bothered to look for facts instead of make them up on the spot. I didn't listen long enough to his show to find fault and it wasn't entertaining; but I read his book which was the most funny thing I've ever read (and why I knew who he was, I never heard of him otherwise.) I wouldn't blame the failure of that radio station on Franken; that is baseless, he quit the show to run for office. One could make equally baseless claims that Franken was keeping that radio station alive.

    He didn't steal the election. I was a volunteer. I WAS THERE. No cheating. They video taped and disputed every single stupid thing no matter how pointless (for example, somebody who marked and wrote in the same person.) The GOP propaganda machine lied about the whole thing and their disrespect for the legal system got them into hot water with the judges -- the majority of which were REPUBLICAN judges!!! They let it drag out a year with no chance to win solely to stall because they are so partisan. Plus creating outrage is a good way to raise money-- for both parties, but in this situation 1 side was being quite unethical. Every ridiculous situation was fought in court with a republican majority of judges and they lost most of it (hey, I didn't say the democrat lawyers were perfect... they ARE lawyers...) It's pretty bad when the Republican judge makes comments about how sleazy the Republican lawyers are.

    The debate in the senate is mostly BS. I spent years watching CSPAN in the background. We are so bad now it doesn't matter what is said because filibusters have DoS the senate. It's the fall of rome all over again; just waiting for the death count to rise (maybe the "accidents" will just turn into out right murders.)

  • I'm a conservative (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:11PM (#46976173)

    In just about every category of politics, I lean more conservative than Slashdot's median. But I respect Al Franken than perhaps any other Congressman out there. Not because I agree with all of his positions, but because he seems to act with real integrity in striving to help the American people.

  • Re:ya (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bondsbw (888959) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:22PM (#46976219)

    Actually this brings up an important distinction.

    1) If your ISP advertises X Mbps, and the ISP makes a deal with Netflix to put in a separate exclusive pipe that provides enough total bandwidth to keep up with demand, and you still get X Mbps to everything else, then I don't know that I have a problem with it.

    2) If the ISP advertises X Mbps and suddenly Netflix is the only thing that gets X Mbps and everything else is slower, or specific services have slowed significantly compared with other ISPs, that is a huge problem.

    I'm not sure if #1 is possible especially considering that what an ISP advertises is always "up to X Mbps" and they can always secretly throttle so long as it's not enough to cause a lot of complaints. So if we have to sacrifice #1 in order to maintain #2, so be it.

  • by microbox (704317) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:32PM (#46976251)
    Haha, sounds like you need to read: why politics makes us stupid [vox.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:34AM (#46976769)

    It looks like our moderation tonight is "progressive," just not fair or honest.

    Or maybe you are spamming that link and people who bothered to read it are down voting it as deceptive?

    That's not all he did. He is also a big defender of the NSA [thehill.com]. Still a fan of Franken?

    You keep posting that link with an irrational seeming fervor, and it doesn't seem like that's something Franken would do so I checked it out. Have you even read it?


    "Sen. Franken voted against reauthorizing the FISA Act because of the lack of transparency after he cosponsored and voted for three separate amendments that would have improved the bill on transparency and privacy," Franken press aide Alexandra Fetissoff said.

    In the interview on Tuesday, Franken says he does think the government programs should be more open, even if there was a reason for some government secrets.

    “I don't believe that the American people should have to take the government's word for it," Franken said. "I think there should be enough transparency so that the American people understand what's happening.”

    It seems like he's saying not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. He's hardly defending the NSA vacuum everything position.

    But I guess haters gotta hate, or whatever slang you want to use.

  • Re:ya (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:53AM (#46977217)

    Netflix is paying level 3, a tier 1 provider for access. All the tier 1's interconnect with each other for free (by definition) - they're basically the backbone of the internet for global transit.

    Customers pay a consumer ISP, like comcast, for access to the internet, i.e. access to the tier 1 network. So both ends are paying for their connection, all they need is for both networks to be connected in a datacentre somewhere - both ISPs pay for their own equipment, and when that link gets congested, they add more/faster interconnect ports, paid for by the customers that are paying for their side of the link. And that's how it works basically everywhere except the US now.

    Because Comcast, along with the other big US consumer ISPs are saying to netflix - a customer of another ISP altogether - 'nice traffic, shame if something happened to it.' And charging extra for a 'fast' path to their network. They've deliberately let the interconnect to level 3 become congested, and are refusing to upgrade it, affecting netflix and all other services that comcast customers request from level 3's network. Netflix offers to host their CDN cache servers inside comcast's network, so it does't have to all go via the level 3 interconnect, comcast refuse.

    So basically comcast are singling out netflix, as a competitor to their own video services, and demanding money with menaces. Successfully.

    Comcast's argument that more traffic comes in from level 3 than goes out - well duh, they're a retail ISP, and they provide much faster download connections than upload, and put restrictions on what services customers can put on that upload. Of course they're largely going to be seeing more traffic come in than go out. Netflix said they could change their client so as much traffic went up as came down, and comcast said that wouldn't make a difference, thus blowing that argument out of the water.

    Given the natural and legally provisioned regional monopolies the cable companies in the US have got themselves, they've got their own customers over a barrel. They can let the interconnects go to shit, and the customers are stuck with it.

    5 of the 6 permanently congested links to level 3's network are in the US. It's absolutely obvious that with the FCC unwilling to exert its existing regulatory authority, and congress' refusal to step in as it would be 'government regulating the internet', you have a textbook example of oligopoly abuse. Free markets cannot exist when monopolists abuse their market controlling power, and netflix is just the start. Enforcing regulation against monopolists abusing their position is the only practical, effective answer, and it's high time the FCC used its power to do just that.

    Apply common carrier status to regional monopoly cable companies, and the sooner the better.

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