Ok, here’s something for those of you that are aural learners or just like a good rousing speech…The FCC hearings in Minnesota on Net Neutrality.
Franken starts @ 17 minutes
Copps begins @ 31 minutes
Clyburn @ 55 minutes
Chris Mitchell @ 72 minutes
This one’s been making the rounds of the internet…you may well have heard remarks about Senator Franken’ speech or raves about FCC Commissioner Copps’ (An FCC commissioner got a standing ovation? Really!? Really… And deserved it. ) Both of those are well worth the time spent listening. Franken has lost none of his wry, dry wit in the transition to Senator and who knew that any nerdish regulator had the capacity to give a stem-winder like Copps did? The freshman on the FCC team, newly appointed Mignon Clyburn turned in a journeyman piece of work as well.
But the hidden gem is in the follow-up to the headliners. Don’t miss Chris Mitchell—friend of Lafayette and all-round advocate of community-owned networks—get in his licks. He makes his points—that regulation is a necessary check on the self-interest of corporations, that the FCC’s role is to regulate in the public, not the private interest, and that all communities should be allowed to own their own networks. The FCC has the authority to do all this and should, he avers. In the process he cites Lafayette for being a model of non-partisan, local decision-making and the best-value network in the United States. “…Lafayette, operates the absolute best broadband network, as measured by value; for less than 30 dollars a month anyone can get a 10 gigabit connection. Symmetrical….in St. Paul I have to pay 3 times that much to get anything like that upload.”
Of course, not all of us are willing to slow down and listen to an actual speech. Ars Technica has a very readable overview of the major players that includes the money qoutes from both Franken and Copps: “I believe that net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time,” from Franken and “I suppose you can’t blame companies for seeking to protect their own interests, but you can blame policy makers if we let them get away with it” brought down the house for Copps.” Clyburn made it crystal clear that she, like Copps, won’t stand for separating wireless data services from the internet. So, early in the game, two of the 5 FCC commissioners have made it clear that the Google-Verizion deal won’t get past their desk—and that’s amazingly good news.