Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduces bill to reinstate net neutrality rules

Coverage Type: 

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced a bill that would codify network neutrality regulations into law. Titled The 21st Century Internet Actthe measure would institute the basic outlines of the Federal Communication Commission’s 2015 Open Internet order, which banned the throttling and blocking of content as well as harmful paid prioritization practices. In an even more surprising move, however, the Republican congressman has signed on to a Democrat-led effort to reinstate the net neutrality rules that the FCC voted to repeal in December 2017. The 21st Century Internet Act aims to restructure the current framework by which the internet has been governed since the ‘90s. Former net neutrality debates have focused around which Telecommunications Act classification best fits broadband. Coffman’s bill moves past this argument by amending the 1934 Telecommunications Act and adding the new Title VIII. This new classification would “permanently codify into law the ‘four corners’ of net neutrality” by banning providers from controlling traffic quality and speed and forbidding them from participating in paid prioritization programs or charging access fees from edge providers. On top of providing stable ground for net neutrality rules to be upheld in the future, the legislation also makes it illegal for providers to participate in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” It directs the FCC to investigate claims of anticompetitive behavior on behalf of consumers after receiving their complaints. Transparency requirements are heightened for providers as well, as companies must publicly disclose information regarding their network practices to allow consumers to “make informed choices regarding use of such services.”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduces bill to reinstate net neutrality rules Coffman Introduces the ‘21st Century Internet Act’ to Establish Net Neutrality Constitution (press release) Congress must rein in FCC, establish ‘bright-line rules’ to preserve net freedom (Colorado Politics)