When Tim Walz won a surprise victory over six-term MN01 incumbent Gil Gutknecht in 2006, one of the areas where Walz enjoyed tactical superiority was his swarm of young supporters in their early 20s who knew how the Internet worked.
Thus, his statement on FCC's embrace of strong net neutrality on Thursday is no surprise. From his office:
Today, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a longtime supporter of keeping the internet free and open, lauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling today that will create strong net neutrality rules to ensure access to the internet remains free and open as it is today.
“A free and open internet is important in a free and open society, and that’s exactly what strong net neutrality rules will continue to ensure we enjoy here in America,” said Rep. Walz, a longtime supporter of net neutrality. “This ruling by the FCC will ensure that you, the consumer, can determine what websites you have access to. It will prevent large corporations from becoming internet gatekeepers and slowing down access. And it will continue to foster competition, innovation, and growth in our economy. I applaud today’s ruling by the FCC and pledge to continue fighting to keep the internet free and open for all.”
What is net neutrality? It’s a very simple concept: keep the internet the way it is today, free and open for all. Enforcing strong net neutrality rules today basically means that nothing will change to the internet you know and love. According to FCC Chairman Wheeler, strong net neutrality rules “assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”
Why are net neutrality rules needed? There are concerns that, without strong net neutrality rules, internet service providers (ISPs) can, at their discretion, slow down or speed up access to certain websites and services. This could lead to higher prices for consumers and stifle innovation, competition, and growth.
For example, an ISP could act as a gatekeeper to the internet, forcing startups—and/or businesses that compete directly with other services offered by ISPs—to pay a premium in order for their service/website to be accessible at the same speeds as other, better established companies. Net neutrality rules would prevent ISPs from becoming internet gatekeepers and guarantee everyone has equal access to the internet, no matter how large or small your company is
For more background on the FCC’s ruling today, please see a fact sheet by visiting the link below: http://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-wheeler-proposes-new-rules-protecting-open-internet
Photo: Tim Walz shows off his favorite mobile at Netroots Minnesota 2009.
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