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Required Viewing: Sen. Al Franken Explains Big Telecom’s Big Plans to Charge You More

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Franken FCC Net Neutrality Plan Flawed 12-20-10.flv

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) took to the Senate floor this weekend to explain his strong opposition to the proposed Comcast-NBC/Universal merger, how some of the nation’s largest telecom companies use limited competition to maintain confiscatory pricing for service, and why feeding the Big Telecom beast with favors requested in multi-million dollar lobbying campaigns will cost ordinary Americans more money for less service in the future.  Franken’s remarks are a refreshing change of pace from the usual Congressional rhetoric, reduced to “Obama’s takeover of the Internet,” “socialist broadband,” and “Maoist net policies” we usually hear about.  It’s well worth the time to educate yourself about Big Telecom’s agenda.  (25 minutes)

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  1. Lexster says:

    Just listened to the whole thing and I’ve got to say that I think more people like Franken need to be in Congress. I may not agree with some of the things he is for, but he’s obviously the kind of person who will stick by their beliefs and not allow them to be swayed by party lines or monetary “gifts” like many other congressmen *coughJohnMcCaincoughcough*. That being said, there were just a few things I noticed during his speech:

    1. Franken made a point that people have choices when they go into a grocery store or restaurant, as opposed to when they choose an ISP. I’m sure he was just trying to simplify the issue, but really, much of the “choice” we are given in stores is just an illusion. Most “store brands” are manufactured in the same plants and factories as many name brands. No matter where your money goes, much of the time, it goes to one of four or five huge conglomerates such as Franken-mentioned General Mills or Kraft or Dole or ConAgra Foods. This, of course, undermines Franken’s point about voting with your wallet. You only think you’re voting with your wallet, but really it’s the same food with a different label. It would be like if Comcast bought Time Warner Cable, but kept their name as Time Warner, then said “See? Now you have a choice.”

    2. Franken made a point about YouTube competing with Google Video and how it would have hurt YouTube if Google could have bought a “fast lane” to load more quickly than YouTube. While this is true, he completely missed the point that Google simply bought YouTube, thereby “buying its competition”, which is an anti-competitive practice in itself. Again, I realize he was just trying to simplify the issue, but it stuck out to me since it also undermines his overall point.

    3. He used the same point for Facebook and I think that one is more apt than the YouTube example for obvious reasons as I stated above.







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