Franken: FCC should bury net-neutrality proposal unless it is strengthened

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenCongress sends bill overhauling sexual harassment policy to Trump's desk Senate approves bill reforming Congress's sexual harassment policy Kamala Harris to keep seat on Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Minn.) is urging the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its latest net-neutrality plan unless it is significantly strengthened. 

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday, Franken became the first Democrat to argue that having no rules would be preferable to the ones the agency proposed last week.

Franken argues that, "absent significant changes to the draft Order as it has been described to me, adopting these rules as they are may actually send signals to industry endorsing any closing off of the Internet that is not specifically prohibited."

The proposal "may do more harm than doing nothing at all,” according to Franken.

“If this Order is adopted as drafted, it would be the first time in the Commission’s history that it effectively legitimated blatantly discriminatory conduct on the Internet — against lawful applications, content, and devices,” he said.

Franken decried the proposal for shortcomings in its wireless component, its failure to ban paid prioritization, and its a narrow definition of broadband Internet access service. He has been one of the most vocal net-neutrality supporters in the Senate since the beginning of his term. 

The FCC fielded a letter saying the opposite on Thursday from Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryO'Rourke doubles support in CNN poll of Dem presidential race Overnight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Court blocks Atlantic coast pipeline | Kerry calls Trump climate actions 'profoundly dangerous' | EPA asked to investigate Pruitt Fox News hits John Kerry: Trump's actions on climate change are 'profoundly dangerous' for planet MORE (D-Mass.), who argued that the proposal is not "perfect," but is better than nothing.

The FCC commissioners will vote on the proposal Dec. 21.