Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: Net neutrality

Feb 17, 2015
In The News

This week the people of the U.S. had one huge victory in the battle against corporate control of everything. The FCC Chairman announced that he will be supporting the classifying of the Internet under Title 2, which will protect the Internet as a common carrier. This will insure that everyone gets the same priority on the Internet. Having followed this battle for years I want to specifically thank Sen. Franken and Rep. Nolan for supporting this effort and protecting the Internet from unfettered corporate pay-to-play control. I have personally spoken to Sen. Franken on this subject several times and saw his resolve to keep the Internet open to the average citizen. Rep. Nolan has been working to expand rural broadband and this decision will only help and protect those efforts.

One of the most concerning developments in the last decade is the division of the U.S. population into those that have high-speed access and those who don't. Unlike power, telephone and mail, ISPs are not mandated to provide universal access. This has segmented our population into areas where high-speed Internet is a privilege of those living in large cities or near the center of smaller populations, largely leaving rural Americans high and dry for Internet access. This affects education, commerce, job opportunities and cultural interactions. Rep. Nolan's efforts to expand internet coverage into our rural communities will make a huge difference to those families that have been left behind during this country's Internet revolution.

In many small communities citizens have created a municipal ISP for their underserved areas, and while this is helpful it is not cost effective for many small towns. It is important that we level this playing field and I thank my elected officials for doing their part.

Joe Simenstad