That's Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), internet hero, explaining just what net neutrality is, and why it's so critical that it be preserved. He expanded on those themes in an interview with Amy Goodman and Aaron Mate on Democracy Now!
Net neutrality has been the architecture of the Internet from the very beginning. What it means is it treats all digital content, all content that comes across the Internet to you, the consumer, through the Internet service providers, is all treated the same, is all treated equally or neutrally. And that has led to all this innovation that we've had over all these years on the Internet. And what Chairman Wheeler is talking about is allowing a fast lane, and it would be deep-pocketed corporations that would be able to buy this. And so, information would come to viewers from big corporations faster, or consumers. And this really would hurt innovation, and it has freedom of speech issues.Net neutrality has to be preserved, and the proposal the FCC has decided to move forward with doesn't do it. We've got until July 15 to convince them to do better, to really protect the internet by reclassifying broadband so that the FCC has a clear path and all the legal authority it needs to enforce net neutrality.
Let me give you just an example of why this—all information traveling the same has led to innovation. Years ago, there was a thing called Google Video, and it wasn't very good. And the guys who created YouTube did it in—over a pizzeria in San Mateo, California. It's a better product, and because it was—allowed travel the same speed as the Google product, people got to see it. And they sampled it, and they liked it better, and so we have YouTube. And in the same way, we've had all this explosion of innovation over the Internet because of net neutrality.
In the same way, this threatens democracy, something I know you're interested in. And because right now your show travels as fast as Fox News, travels as fast as The New York Times, someone blogging right now not liking what I'm saying could do this—you know, can do that and get it up as fast as any other piece of information. If you have a fast lane for corporate news and corporate information and corporate content, that threatens our very democracy.