May 4, 2018

After Trump Rolls Back Net Neutrality, Senator Bye and Democrats Lead Passage of Connecticut’s Own Net Neutrality Bill

Despite the united opposition of every Republican, Senate Democrats today led passage (18-18, with Lieutenant Governor Wyman casting the tiebreaking vote) of a strong consumer protection bill that reinstates net neutrality protections that were rolled back by President Donald Trump’s hand-picked chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Without net neutrality, internet providers are able to control and decide which websites and content appear on the internet, which can slow competitors or block any political content with which they disagree. Internet Service Providers are also able to charge extra money to support the content of the few companies that can pay, which hurts small businesses and consumers.

“Eighty-three percent of voters support keeping the FCC’s old net neutrality policy,” said state Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), a longtime supporter of net neutrality and more choice in broadband internet options. “They believe the internet should be a level playing field and that growing companies need fair access too. They believe they should have control over the internet that they pay for. As a state, and as a legislature, we can pass laws that pass legal muster and send the message to our constituents that we stand with them and not with the big telecomm industries.”

Sen. Bye was joined in her support of open internet rules by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), who introduced legislation earlier this year charging the Public Utility Regulatory Authority with regulating the provisions of net neutrality and prohibiting internet service providers in Connecticut from throttling consumer internet speeds, blocking certain websites or imposing prioritization pricing.

“The Trump administration’s discarding of net neutrality rules represents a dangerous rollback of consumer protections,” said Sen. Duff. “Preserving open internet is good for Connecticut’s businesses, startups, students and consumers. I am proud that Connecticut is joining other states like Washington and Oregon in leading the fight for a fair, open and accessible internet.”