Recap: Net neutrality refers to a set of 2015 rules that prevented ISPs from throttling user connections or blocking websites. The FCC under President Trump opted to roll back these rulings in a controversial December 14 vote. While Democrats attempt to kill the vote with the Congressional Review Act, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman has taken matters into his own hands.
If you thought Democrats were the only ones fighting for net neutrality, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman is looking to prove you wrong now.
Coffman on Tuesday published a press release outlining new pro-net neutrality legislation; a bill dubbed the "21st Century Internet Act." The bill seeks to "permanently codify" into law the four main tenants of net neutrality - no paid prioritization, no website blocking, no throttling, and federal oversight of "interconnection."
The bill would also seek to create a "new title" for broadband, to take advantage of additional consumer protections detailed in 1934's Communications Act.
In the release, Coffman elaborates on his reason for introducing the bill:
"The fight to keep the internet open belongs in Congress, not at the Federal Communications Commission,"
"The fight to keep the internet open belongs in Congress, not at the Federal Communications Commission," he said in a statement. "The American people deserve to know that their elected officials, not unelected bureaucrats, are fighting for their interest. That fight begins with my bill, which will create an ‘internet constitution’ with the foundational elements of net neutrality."
Coffman certainly makes a sound point here - the FCC's December 14 vote to roll back 2015's net neutrality protections was hotly contested by the public, on both sides of the political aisle. Even if this bill fails, consumers would likely feel better knowing representatives they voted into office made the final call.
At any rate, only time will tell if Coffman's 21st Century Internet Act will work out. It still needs to make its way past quite a few other Republican Congress members, many of whom do not share the same sentiments Coffman does.