Where Colorado’s 9 members of Congress stand on net neutrality

The debate has caused much public speculation, interest and furor

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Washington, D.C., December 14, 2017 | comments

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal open-internet rules adopted two years ago.

In a 3-to-2 vote, the rules that are known as net neutrality caused a fierce debate leading up the vote (and sure to continue after) had caused much public speculation, interest and furor over FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s move to rescind the regulations.

The Associated Press reported that the Thursday vote could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight.

The proposal would not only roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don’t like, it would bar states from imposing their own rules.

So here’s where the nine members of Colorado’s congressional delegationstand on net neutrality:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet, a Democrat, says his office received nearly 25,000 letters and calls from Coloradans on net neutrality ahead of Thursday’s vote.

“The consensus could not be clearer: We must protect a free and open internet,” he said on Twitter.

Bennet sent a letter Thursday morning to Pai, ahead of the vote, urging him to abandon his plans to rescind the rules.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner

Cory Gardner, who didn’t immediately respond Thursday to The Denver Post about his position, said he was “disappointed” after a federal appeals court ruled last year to uphold net neutrality rules.

“I’m hopeful the Supreme Court will recognize the (FCC’s) brazen abuse of power and overreach, and overturn the FCC’s misguided rule,” Gardner said in a statement then.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder

Jared Polis has been stridently against any plans to unravel net neutrality rules.

“In November, after learning that 57 percent of the 22 million public comments on net neutrality contained false information, I called on the FCC to start a new public comment process,” he said earlier. “The FCC should not go forward with a decision based on input from bots.  We must preserve net neutrality protections and the free flow of information on the internet, which is critical to American innovation and the overall economy.  That is why I am a proud co-sponsor of the Save Net Neutrality Act.  We cannot give up on the internet as we know it.”

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor

When asked about Pai’s work to unravel net neutrality rules, Buck said: “I support Chairman Pai’s efforts to free internet providers from burdensome regulations that stifle innovation and increase costs for Coloradans.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada

Ed Perlmutter was among more than 100 members of Congress who signed a letter Wednesday asking Pai to delay the vote on “Restoring Internet Freedom” and remove it from the December agenda.

“I support the 2015 net neutrality rules and oppose the FCC chairman’s attempt to dismantle these important protections to ensure equal access to the internet without interference. I will continue to support an open and transparent internet where everyone has fair and equal access,” Perlmutter said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez

The Post reached out to Tipton on Thursday morning but did not immediately hear back.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora

Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora, had asked Pai to delay the vote and let Congress hold hearings on net neutrality and ultimately pass permanent laws on open internet regulations. Coffman said on Twitter on Wednesday that he had not received a response from Pai.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs

Doug Lamborn was against net neutrality rules in 2015, when they were put in place, calling them onerous rules and regulations on the internet.

He said then in a statement: “The FCC, led by three Democrat bureaucrats hand-picked by President Obama, approved a secret plan to fundamentally undermine a free and open Internet. This decision ushers in a new era of government micromanagement that will discourage private investment in new networks and stifle the innovation that has allowed the internet to flourish. With the recent failures and mismanagement of Obamacare, it is astounding that anyone would think that heavy-handed regulation by government bureaucrats can manage the internet. This is a solution in search of a problem. I look forward to serious congressional pushback against this secretive effort which threatens America’s continued leadership in the global Internet economy.”

The Post reached out to Lamborn’s staff Thursday morning, but the congressman declined to comment further than his previous statements.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver

Diana DeGette was also among more than 100 members of Congress who signed a letter Wednesday asking Pai to delay the vote on “Restoring Internet Freedom” and remove it from the December agenda.

Content originally published by The Denver Post on December 14, 2017.
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