Al Franken | Video | Web/Tech

Senator Al Franken Steps Up Fight To Save Net Neutrality: VIDEO


We are in danger of losing Net Neutrality now that the FCC Chair Tom Wheeler is considering letting internet and cable providers create data "fast lanes" for companies willing to shell out the money for it, relegating everyone else to crippled bandwidth. Net Neutrality, for those unfamiliar, essentially states that ISPs can't discriminate in terms of allocating bandwidth to specific sites, that speed is only influenced by the bandwidth capacity and location of the ISPs servers.

Losing Net Neutrality means that providers could charge extra for unimpeded access to sites like YouTube, or that Comcast (for example) could reduce access to Amazon Instant Video to a crawl in order to make the content on NBC - whom they own - more palatable.

Senator Al Franken is taking a stand against the potential loss of Net Neutrality and has a petition up to call for the FCC Chair to either abide by President Obama's promise to defend Net Neutrality, or to step down from his position. As of this writing, the petition has 90% of the required signatures needed.

You can watch a slightly gaming-centric rundown of Net Neutrality by Extra Credits and Senator Franken's call to action AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Why shouldn't users who demand more capacity pay more?

    Posted by: Nathan | May 9, 2014 10:05:12 AM

  2. Why shouldn't users who demand more capacity pay more?

    Posted by: Nathan | May 9, 2014 10:05:12 AM

  3. For anyone with lingering questions about Net Neutrality, this video is remarkably good. Very clear, easy to understand.

    Posted by: Chip | May 9, 2014 10:11:38 AM

  4. I love Al for this. It's a lost cause. Congress is bought and paid for and the President appointed an industry hack to the FCC basically insuring that all rulings would go their way. This is over. The internet as we know it is gone. Get ready to be redirected to the sites your ISP wants you to go to and slower speeds for more money. We're already overpaying for not very much. It's about to get a lot worse.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | May 9, 2014 10:24:12 AM

  5. Basically now you can't just pay for faster internet as speeds will depend on what you and the service (website, app) are also paying. The fix is rather easy, the internet is a utility and deserves protection under the law. Write to your senators and demand the Internet be classified as a Title II Common Carrier.

    Posted by: Jay | May 9, 2014 11:09:16 AM

  6. Also since Verizon brought this about. I feel they deserve the backslash. I'm planning to drop them in the coming months.

    Posted by: Jay | May 9, 2014 11:14:15 AM

  7. This idea is really Terrifying. Corporations for profit have shaped the World around us in our day to day lives, it seems only logical that they would now shape the Internet World we also live in. It is very frustrating and angering. I hope that America would take a more innovative stance on this issue.

    Posted by: AnthonyR | May 9, 2014 11:58:31 AM

  8. What Jay said. It really is that simple.

    Posted by: melvin | May 9, 2014 12:37:35 PM

  9. It's actually worse than people are imagining. Companies like Google aren't going to set up "fast lane" agreements with every ISP in the world - that would be unmanageable - so (if they do it) they would just set the agreements up with the largest ones, a relatively small number. That would give those large ISPs an additional competitive advantage over the small ones, just the sort of thing anti-trust laws are intended to prevent.

    The phone companies in particular started with circuit switching, where you have to maintain state for each connection at switches (and of course charge someone for that). Doing that is expensive. The idea of net neutrality was originally a design principle for the internet, based on the idea of keeping the switches as simple as possible as a means of reducing communication costs. Gathering billing data based on the end points of a data stream is expensive, so if they can make this a standard practice, they can uniformly raise the costs for everyone and rake in even more money via a markup on a service nobody except the ISPs want.

    Posted by: Bill | May 9, 2014 12:50:50 PM

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