Tags: al franken | ted cruz | net neutrality

Al Franken, Ted Cruz Spar Over Net Neutrality as Obama Pushes New Plan

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 08:36 AM

Senators Al Franken and Ted Cruz entered into a back-and-forth this week over "net neutrality," or the idea that all Internet web traffic should be treated equally — a hot-button issue that President Barack Obama has urged the Federal Communications Commission to protect.

In a White House statement on Monday, Obama called on the FCC to create a new set of rules to protect net neutrality, which would include preventing cable and phone companies from acting as "gatekeepers" and restricting speeds. Obama's plan calls for no blocking or slowing down of ISPs, increased transparency for customers, and no paid prioritization for faster Internet speeds.

"If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital," the president said. "But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet's openness."

Cruz, R-Texas, slammed Obama's plan as "Obamacare for the Internet."

 


Franken, D-Minnesota, fired back at Cruz, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday and saying that Obama's actions would prevent wealthier businesses from having the edge over small ones when it comes to paying for faster Internet speeds online. Cruz's comparison of net neutrality to Obamacare, Franken saud, was a stretch.

"He has it completely wrong and he just doesn't understand what this issue is," Franken said. "Obamacare was a government program that fixed something, that changed things. This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same that they've been."

Cruz shot back at Franken on Monday, releasing a video clip from a speech he made in Texas on Friday.



"What happens when government starts regulating a service as a public utility? It calcifies everything," Cruz says in the video. "It freezes it in place."

He went on to compare the concept to the landline and cellphone.

"The innovation is happening without having to go to government regulators and say, 'Mother, may I?' We want a whole lot more of this," he said, pointing to the cellphone.

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Senators Al Franken and Ted Cruz entered into a back-and-forth this week over "net neutrality," or the idea that all Internet web traffic should be treated equally — a hot-button issue that President Barack Obama has urged the Federal Communications Commission to protect.
al franken, ted cruz, net neutrality
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2014-36-18
 

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