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Did you see: “For Franken, net neutrality remains key campaign issue”

Sam Fettig, Communications Assistant

The Star Tribune has a great new profile on Al’s hard work in the Senate on the issue of net neutrality. When the Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules for the flow of information on the Internet earlier this year, Al was one of the first to speak out.

The Federal Communications Commission’s proposed new Internet access rules could include fast and slow broadband lanes, with Internet service providers being able to charge content providers for the “fast-lane” service.

Franken believes only deep-­pocketed corporations could afford to pay for a fast lane, and he believes that would stunt the growth of innovative start-ups.

Franken points to YouTube, the ubiquitous video-sharing site begun by three programmers nearly a decade ago that later sold to Google for $1.6 billion. If net neutrality didn’t exist, neither would YouTube. ­Franken said.

McFadden has largely ignored net neutrality, saying he prefers to focus on pressing issues like national security and the economy.

Franken, who said he gets asked about net neutrality “all the time,” counters that those issues rely on an open Internet, as do many others. He points to a pair of Minnesota-based start-ups, Sport Ngin, which develops sports websites and league-­management apps, and ThisCLICKS, which creates employment-scheduling ­software. Both grew from ideas into innovative companies that employ hundreds and contribute to the economy. The FCC has received nearly 4 million public comments about its proposed policy, including one from the senator himself.

“This is about a top-down ­economy, which is controlled by deep-pocketed corporations, as opposed to what we’ve had in place, which has ­created a tremendous amount of economic prosperity but is much more ­democratic, and much more about individual innovation,” he said. “It’s creating Facebook in your dorm room. This would squelch your ability to do that.”

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