Hutchison corrects Franken: Net neutrality did not exist when YouTube was created

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison had a message for Democratic Sen. Al Franken during Wednesday’s Senate floor debate to overturn the Federal Communication Commission’s Internet regulation: “We didn’t have net neutrality in 2005.”

The Senate debate to overturn the government’s Internet regulation — also called net neutrality, a principle which supporters argue would preserve the open nature of the Internet by preventing Internet service providers from prioritizing network traffic — took Wednesday afternoon.

“Thanks to net neutrality, YouTube became the gold standard” said Franken, referring to online video and Google’s $1.6 billion acquisition of the company.

Hutchison later responded to Franken’s remarks, saying, “Sen. Franken said that YouTube started above a pizzeria in 2005, and sold for $1.6 billion two years later to Google, and that wouldn’t have been possible without net neutrality. We must point out that we didn’t have net neutrality in 2005. We haven’t had federal regulation of the Internet such as we have seen last year put forward by this administration.”

“Facebook and Microsoft don’t need our help today,” said Franken on the Senate floor Wednesday. Franken claimed that it was the 20 year old kid working in a garage to create the next Internet application that needed the FCC’s Internet regulations.

“YouTube and Google were created in a market without net neutrality,” Hutchison replied.

The Senate is expected to vote on Hutchison’s proposal Thursday.

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