Polis statement on net neutrality
Washington: Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., released the following statement after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai announced his intention to undermine net neutrality by attacking the legal framework that is fundamental to protecting the open internet.
“Chairman Pai’s announcement today creates a slippery slope for ending net neutrality protections leading to a pay-to-play internet,” Polis said. “To compete in the global economy, we need an internet that allows for the free exchange of ideas, not an internet that can be bought by the highest bidder. Chairman Pai's double speaking: claiming to support a free and open internet, while offering no viable options or plan to maintain consumer protections after he dismantles the legal framework.”
Net neutrality protections ensure that consumers maintain the freedom to access all legal internet traffic without influence or control from those who “own” the internet. The current FCC rules prohibit internet providers from restricting access to legal content by blocking, throttling speeds at which content is available, or charging for prioritization. These rules were subject to years of public debate and legal examination before taking effect in 2015.
During remarks today, Chairman Pai stated he intends to roll back these rules by “reclassifying” internet providers. Essentially placing internet providers in a category, which is not subject to net neutrality provisions.
Recently, Polis led opposition against a Republican move to rollback rules that require broadband internet service providers to notify customers before selling their personal information.
Polis has been a leading cosponsor of many bills to defend the open internet and protecting individuals’ right to privacy, including: the Email Privacy Act, which protects American’s online communications from warrantless government searches; the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act, which is the most significant federal attempt to protect student data in decades; and the SPEAK FREE Act, which would enhance free speech protection for consumers on the internet.