CongressHot SheetTechnology

Rep. Mike Coffman to unveil plan to save net neutrality

Author: Joey Bunch - July 16, 2018 - Updated: July 16, 2018

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net neutralityU.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, talks during a news conference before a town hall meeting with constituents in a high school in Greenwood Village in February. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Rep. Mike Coffman, the Republican congressman from Aurora, will unveil his plan to save neutrality on Tuesday.

Last year the Republican-controlled FCC repealed the Obama-era rules that prevent internet providers from charging more for higher speeds to some customers — such as major retailers — who can afford better and faster websites, gaining a huge advantage over small businesses and regular customers who can’t afford the higher rates.

Last year Coffman sought to delay the repeal of net neutrality rules, and his pending legislation is expected to try to restore key parts of the 2015 rules.

Coffman’s 21st Century Internet Act will be presented at an event called The Future of Net Neutrality put on by the groups INCOMPAS and ENGINE at the 1776 tech incubator in Washington.

The bill has been anticipated for months. Coffman told Politico in March, “The goal is certainly to preserve the principles of net neutrality but to modernize it by creating a separate title, a new title for broadband.”

Politico noted that Coffman “bucked his fellow Republicans by opposing the FCC’s December repeal of the Obama-era rules.”

The Washington Post reported in February that surveys last year showed more than 80 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Republicans, favored preserving net neutrality rules.

The battles were fought to a standstill at the Colorado legislature last session, with Democrats attempting to create state-level consumer and small-business protections against higher rates ore slower speeds.

“This is not the path to economic growth and technological innovation,” Austin McChord, founder and CEO of the IT solutions company Datto, wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Sunday. “As we head for the midterm elections in the fall, then, let’s make sure we demand of whomever we send into office, Democrat or Republican, to give us back the greatest economic growth engine in history, the free internet.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.