WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken was elated Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission approved rules that ensure Internet providers treat all legal content equally.
"Last spring, I could not have predicted that we would be celebrating this victory today," Franken said, on the Senate floor. "The best principles of our democracy have won out. It's clear that the voices of the American people have been heard. I've often called net neutrality the free speech issue of our time."
Franken has long fought in the weeds on net neutrality. At a Judiciary Committee hearing last year on the issue, there was standing room only because so many "free Internet" activists filled the room to hear Franken speak. Franken often talked about Comcast's "100 lobbyists" on Capitol Hill fighting for the Time Warner merger and challenged fellow Judiciary Committee Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to explain his opposition to net neutrality. Cruz called the issue "the Obamacare for the Internet."
"It was a statement that seemed to demonstrate a basic misunderstanding of what net neutrality is and how the Internet works," Franken said Thursday."Some folks really don't get it."
Franken said thanks to the FCC's ruling -- commissioners split on a party line vote -- he can "stream videos of my amazingly cute grandson just as easily as I can stream a hit TV show."