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All websites will be treated equally: Franken praises FCC's net neutrality ruling


The Federal Communications Commission approved a policy that ensures free open access to the Internet, something Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has been pushing for throughout his political career.

The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to approve the policy, often referred to as net neutrality, requiring Internet service providers to handle all Web traffic equally and classifying Broadband service as a public utility, the New York Times reports.

For the consumer, it essentially means the Internet will be way it is now – every website will be treated equally and load at the same speed. (Read more about what net neutrality is here.)

In a statement Thursday, Franken called the FCC's decision "an enormous victory."

"The bottom line is this: the Internet is a vital part of our daily lives, and net neutrality is at the core of how the Internet operates. It is critical to our democracy and our economy that it continue to operate this way," he said in a statement. 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the FCC's decision that "no one – whether government or corporate – should control free open access to the Internet," according to NPR News.

But those who voted against the policy – Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, both Republicans – say the FCC overstepped its authority and interfered in commerce, and wasn't transparent about the policy, reports note.

Telecom companies are also against the policy, arguing these rules don't match the services they provide, and say they'll fight this ruling in court, CNN Money says.

These are some of the reasons a group of Republican lawmakers are drafting legislation in an effort to overrule the FCC's policy – it would ban the "fast lane" (paid prioritization), but doesn't go as far as classifying the Internet as a public utility, USA Today reports.

Franken has vowed to fight the legislation to keep the FCC's policy, and wrote in an editorial published on the website Mashable Wednesday that the fight for net neutrality doesn't end with the FCC's decision.

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