CBS4 Denver reported on a rally this weekend urging the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission to reject a proposal to weaken FCC rules mandating “net neutrality”–in general, the requirement that all internet traffic be routed equally with no preferential treatment of origin:
A rally downtown on Saturday was the latest attempt to raise awareness for “Net Neutrality” days before a vote by the Federal Communications Commission expected to reverse the policy, supporters say the move will affect how consumers see online content…
The rally at Skyline Park featured multiple speakers in the afternoon arguing the internet is a utility that should available to all. Companies could charge content providers to get their material available at a faster rate, supporters say. Smaller businesses or independent sites may be at a disadvantage against larger corporations or major media outlets.
“What Net Neutrality protections, if they are overturned, would do is essentially make it so the internet is no longer a free and open place,” said Caroline Fry, another rally organizer.
But if Colorado internet users were hoping U.S. Senator Cory Gardner will intercede on their behalf, guess again:
“The FCC’s rule not only circumvents the lawmaking process, but also the very people who are responsible for the Internet’s evolution and success,” said Sen. Cory Gardner in a statement back in 2016.
Gardner has also said in past statements that the internet should not be regulated by a government agency using old rules but instead new legislation should be passed to address concerns of slowing speeds or blocking content to consumers.
With only a few days now until the FCC votes on net neutrality, if Sen. Gardner wants to provide an updated statement now is the time. The most recent response on the issue we could find is from a few months ago, in a response to a constituent as posted to reddit:
While I support consumers’ ability to access the Internet, [Pols emphasis] I had serious concerns that the FCC’s 2015 attempt to prevent Internet companies from blocking or slowing consumers relied on a 1930s portion of law, which was never intended to regulate the Internet. Using outdated regulation to police Internet companies threatens innovation and investment in the Internet. The FCC’s latest decision provides a new opportunity to find a way forward on bipartisan legislation that permanently prevents companies from blocking or slowing consumers…
Sen. Michael Bennet’s straightforward response in the same post, “I believe we should work together to protect net neutrality” and praising the 2015 FCC rules now under threat, is much more reassuring for activists working to protect net neutrality than Gardner’s view–shared by basically no one–that this proposal is a “new opportunity” for the most dysfunctional Congress in modern American history to pass legislation to protect net neutrality after it’s rolled back.
If you understand that Cory Gardner is making promises nobody has any expectation of keeping, this is fine.
But especially after the year we’ve had, let’s please not be under any delusions.