FCC, Franken Hammer Away at Google-Verizon Proposals

FCC commissioner Michael Copps denounced the broadband regulatory proposals released by Google and Verizon last week at the Free Press-sponsored Future of the Internet forum in Minneapolis on Thursday. Copps said that those proposals were designed both companies’ interests and not to support net neutrality

Copps also took issue with the fact that the deal attempts to diminish the FCC’s authority to impose net neutrality rules and excludes wireless broadband services from any rules the FCC might make. He cited media consolidation and a decline in quality programming on broadcast channels as evidence that cable companies and content providers "can’t be trusted to place the public’s interests ahead of their own."

"These very big, very powerful, very wealthy companies pronounced to Capitol Hill, the FCC and the public that they have now agreed upon a policy framework that will work for the benefit of the American people," Copps said. "Of course it wasn’t developed with input from the American people, but it is, they assure us, for the American people. It’s ‘trust us,’ one more time."

Copps went on to say that it is the FCC’s job to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service because this will protect consumers against discrimination and consolidation in the broadband industry. He called out "managed services" provisions in the Google-Verizon deal as well, saying that they open the door to a tiered Internet where those with money can pay for faster access and a better quality of service.

"Here’s the real kicker. The Verizon-Google Gaggle wants to build a world of private Internets that would vastly diminish the centrality of the Internet that you and I know," Copps said. "They want a tiered Internet. ‘Managed services’ is what they call this. ‘Gated communities for the Affluent’ is what I call them."

According to Free Press, approximately 750 people attended the rally, along with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps. Clyburn focused on a discussion about expanding broadband Internet access to America, which she believes could bring "equality" to under-represented groups like women and minorities.

Franken also strongly condemned the Google-Verizon proposal at the rally, and urged the FCC to take action to enforce strict net neutrality rules. He also mentioned the Comcast – NBC Universal, saying that the deal would have a negative impact on the marketplace of ideas. Here’s more of what Franken said:

"We can’t let companies write the rules that we the people are supposed to follow," Franken said. "If that happens, those rules will be written only to protect corporations. I urge the FCC to oppose any efforts to undermine Net Neutrality and to impede the flow of information online."

Free Press president Josh Silver also spoke at the event:

"The number of people in the audience tonight, and watching online reminds us all that the debate over the future of the Internet is not just for techies, bloggers or geeks," said Free Press president Josh Silver. "It is about nothing less than the future of all communications and democracy itself…As goes the Internet goes journalism, education, entertainment, community engagement, innovation and our economy."

Source: The Hill

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    Some actual links would be nice.  There are a hell of a lot of Star/Tribune stories on the horse race.  Ultimately, though, it sounds to me like a court ruled that the votes were valid and not duplicates.

    As for how I "keep forgetting" you’re from Minnesota, you say that like you’ve told me that over and over again.  And hey, maybe you’ve mentioned it and I’ve forgotten, but this is the first time I remember you saying it (despite your reliable posting in any thread that mentions Franken).

    And as for being from Minnesota, hey, I’m sure you’re more up on Minnesota politicians than I am, but that hardly means I’m going to accept anything you say uncritically.  If I started listing off the many, many criminal acts of Joe Arpaio, would you just trust me because I’m from Maricopa County, or would you want me to produce some sort of evidence to back my claims up?

  2. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Read the St. Paul Pioneer Press and/or the Minneapolis Star/Tribune.  Hell, read the court documents.  The only reason that the judges voted to allow the repeat votes is because of the fact that, since Minnesota doesn’t require any voter to provide any form of identification whatsoever, it would be almost impossible to determine if a vote is valid or not.  Therefore, to discount a vote without 100% proof that it’s not a valid vote is unconstitutional.

    Or do you keep forgetting I’m from Minnesota, and actually went through it?

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    I believe the voter fraud comment has to do with the irrefutable fact that over 2,000 of the votes for Franken were absentee votes that were counted twice, and weren’t even revealed until AFTER he lost initially.  Apparently, these votes were in an ACORN office in Minneapolis.

    Since none of the counts were more than a thousand votes apart, 4000 votes for Franken turned the tide to him.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Actually, I committed no ad hominem attack, since such would require the insult to be the argument.  My argument was "and you will have asked for it," not "you moron."

    Also, a British telecom isn’t an American telecom.

    Finally, China has net neutrality.  How is that working for Chinese internet connections?

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  5. 0
    Thad says:

    Aaaand without any sense of irony, jedidethfreak spends his first paragraph railing against people who make unsubstantiated conjecture and his second one making unsubstantiated conjecture.  And then tops it off with all-caps ad hominem insults.

    Pretty much par for the course.

    PS, just so we’ve got somebody in the thread citing actual facts for a nice change of pace: British Telecom is throttling people’s traffic at its whims.

    It was posted, on this site, five days before your latest return to the "baseless conjecture" well.  You must have been too busy hurling invective to notice.

  6. 0
    Thad says:

    "1:’s book can be found in dolar stores (It is literally not worth the paper it is printed on)"

    Franken hasn’t published a book since 2005 — it was the #1 bestseller when it was released, just like two of his previous books.  It’s not really unusual for a 5-year-old book to be in a bargain bin, ESPECIALLY if it’s about current events which are now 5 years out of date.

    "2:Failed so badly at his radio show he had to put his mom on the air because no one called."

    Dunno, I grant I didn’t listen to his show past ’04 and Air America wasn’t exactly popular, but he had plenty of calls when I listened to it.

    "3:Only got eleected on voter fraud."

    Any evidence?  Bear in mind the guy he was running against had already lost an election to a pro wrestler and won another against a dead man — he wasn’t exactly flush with electoral victories.

  7. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Well, they’ve pretty much HAD their way, and all anyone can do is make baseless conjecture about what "might" happen if we don’t do this.

    If this goes through, I guarantee you that the FCC will do the very thing you’re so worried that telecoms will do – regulating traffic across networks, prioritizing traffic based on what the government thinks is "proper," and even outright restricting access to stuff it just doesn’t deem proper.

    The best part?  YOU’LL HAVE ASKED FOR IT, YOU MORON!!!  Will you beg for telecoms?  No, I don’t think you would.  However, you’ll still have no recourse whatsoever, and you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  8. 0
    deuxhero says:

    Given that this is Al Fraken a man who


    1:’s book can be found in dolar stores (It is literally not worth the paper it is printed on)

    2:Failed so badly at his radio show he had to put his mom on the air because no one called.

    3:Only got eleected on voter fraud.



    Not to say he is the only nut job there. Him, Grayson (opposeing a 1000 page bill no one has read is a "holocaust"), and Pelosi (The people OPPOSING the ground 0 mosque should have their funding investigated) are just some of the biggest.

  9. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    I find it hilarious that Franken wants the FCC to "oppose any efforts to undermine Net Neutrality and to impede the flow of information online."  Is he so stupid as to believe that the FCC wouldn’t do exactly that BY ITSELF if they get their way with net neutrality?

    Yeah, he probably is, now that I think about it.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

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