Sen. Al Franken said the lack of bite in the new Net neutrality regulations adopted Tuesday moves a step toward threatening First Amendment rights on the Internet.
Franken told Hot Dish that while he was happy some improvements were made to an original draft proposal of the new Net neutrality rules — which regulate how Internet service providers operate — he still had major problems with the new regulations.
“I’m not happy with this,” Franken said of the proposal the FCC adopted Tuesday by a 3-2 vote. “This should be real Net neutrality regulations and I don’t feel it is.”
The new rules prevent broadband providers from blocking access to lawful content and applications. The proposal was adopted on a party-line vote Tuesday, as three Democratic commissions voted for it and two Republicans opposed it.
Franken’s biggest complaints are about allowing Internet service providers to create so-called “fast lanes” for websites that want quicker service for their high-end content, such as movie streaming. He’s also upset that wireless Internet is largely not covered by the proposal.
“Since wireless is no doubt the future of the internet,” Franken said, “this very much concerns me.”
Franken has been one of the most vocal proponents of strong Net neutrality laws, calling it “the most important free speech issue of our time.”
But Franken isn’t the only one upset about the FCC’s new regulations. Republicans have blasted the Net neutrality rules for imposing excessive government regulation over the Internet. Rep. Michele Bachmann criticized Tuesday’s FCC vote, saying in a tweet: “Net Neutrality: Another example of regulatory overreach.”