Rep. Drew Hansen: States can protect net neutrality
“The net neutrality rules protect against internet service providers deciding to block lawful content, to throttle or slow down lawful content, or to have paid priority,” State Representative Drew Hansen told KTTH’s Jason Rantz.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn the Obama-era net neutrality rules on December 14.
“I think that’s a stupid idea,” Hansen said. “I don’t understand why they would rip away these rules that actually preserve the free and open internet that’s served us well. I mean, we have Republicans who agree with this, Democrats who agree with this. I honestly don’t know what they’re doing.”
Internet companies have always been allowed to charge more money for faster service, something Hansen said he is on board with. However, what those companies haven’t been able to do under net neutrality rules is charge more money for consumers to view particular content.
“Let the companies providing the actually content decide what they’re going to charge and let the markets sort it out. Don’t let Comcast and Verizon put their thumb on the scale,” Hansen said.
Getting rid of net neutrality might be especially harmful to people in rural areas, where people have far less choice when it comes to internet providers, Hansen said.
“The broadband companies effectively have a monopoly in many areas of this state, particularly in the more rural areas,” he said.
Although the FCC has already made its decision regarding the rules, Hansen it isn’t over yet. Individual states may have the right to overrule the FCC and decide to keep net neutrality rules in place.
“The states have always had broad consumer protection authority. We regulate consumer protection on the internet all the time,” he said. “There’s no general preemption authority. You have to have a constitutional provision or a statute that gives Congress the authority to preempt state laws.”
“Republicans and Democrats alike get this one,” Hansen said. “We get that it should not be the cable companies’ choice how fast you see particular content on the internet or what gets a fast lane and what gets a slow lane.”