Colorado Net Neutrality Bill Heads To Governor's Desk For Signing

from the ill-communication dept

You can add Colorado to the growing list of states finalizing state-level net neutrality legislation. Colorado's new Senate Bill 78 would not only block ISPs from engaging in all the usual anti-competitive shenanigans (blocking or otherwise throttling a competing service), but it would also force ISPs to pay back state taxpayer-backed grants if they engage in said behaviors. After a last-second GOP attempt to add porn filters to the legislation failed, the bill passed the Colorado General Assembly last week and heads to the desk of Colorado Governor Jared Polis for signature.

Colorado legislators note the effort is just one of 120 bills and resolutions in 34 states (and DC) crafted on this subject since Ajit Pai's FCC voted to kill net neutrality in late 2017. The bills are a direct reflection of the strong bipartisan majority of Americans that support such protections.

As we've seen countless times before, telecom industry backed organizations like the AT&T-funded Colorado Competitive Council were quick to complain that such state-level efforts would only create regulatory confusion, and that enforcement of net neutrality should be left to the FTC:

"An open internet is a critical issue, and the federal government has been clear that it is in their purview. (Senate Bill 78) is unnecessary and would only add to a patchwork of regulations, confusing the regulatory certainty that exists in Colorado today,” said Nicholas J. Colglazier, director of Colorado Competitive Council, and who testified against the bill. “The Federal Trade Commission has authority to enforce the open internet practices of internet service providers, and has demonstrated its willingness to do so."

Local ISP CenturyLink also came out against the perils of a "patchwork" of state-level regulation on this subject:

"A patchwork of state-by-state regulations of the internet, which is what Colorado SB 78 calls for, is not the right approach for this important policy."

But again, the industry likes to ignore the fact that if they hadn't lobbied to kill modest FCC net neutrality rules, states wouldn't be pursuing this route in the first place. It's the telecom industry that's responsible for this "regulatory confusion," though they're the last ones apparently willing to own up to that fact. Meanwhile, the telecom lobby pushed hard to shift ISP oversight from the FCC to FTC specifically because they know the latter lacks the authority and resources to actually do so, another fact the telecom sector likes to tap dance around as the industry complains about the direct outcome of its own actions.

Filed Under: broadband, colorado, competition, net neutrality, state laws


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 1:31pm

    Oh the poor babies...

    Kill off the single federal set of rules that would have applied across the entire country, and then whine like spoiled children about 'patchwork regulations' when individual states take up the slack, resulting in numerous sets.

    It is beyond rich that their attempt to gut any regulations over the industry have instead resulted in multiple sets of regulations, and for all the whining about how it's just such a bother to deal with regulations that might differ by state, well, maybe should have thought of that before they killed off the single set, no?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Jonathan Bentz (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 1:38pm

    Something to watch

    As someone who lives in a state with challenges to simply having high speed access statewide, I guess I will watch this for an example of what we will be dealing with sometime between now and 2030?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Oh the poor babies...

    I'm waiting to see how Pai tries to sell it to the SCOTUS that States making such laws is illegal, and they should be struck down...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Oh the poor babies...

    If memory serves he's already tried just that. It's been a few months(at least) but I think the angle he tried to go with is that only the FCC has the ability to regulate the relevant companies, and as such can prohibit the states from doing so, with the counter-point that the states and their lawyers used was that since the FCC by it's own choice gave up the power to do just that it also gave up the power to tell the states what they could and couldn't do on the matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Gary (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 4:04pm

    The Other Hand...

    On the one hand, interstate commerce is really supposed to be a job for the Federales.

    On the other hand - the whole thing is too silly with the telcoes crying bloody murder.

    I guess if the law is crafted to punish telcoes at the state level - it is within stats rights to withhold payment at the very least. Getting their grants back is something they should do regardless, since the telcoes have reneged on the terms regardless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2019 @ 6:12pm

    Where's Poochie?

    Richard Bennett pissing his pants in 3, 2, 1...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 4:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh the poor babies...

    except that would be wrong since an ISP would have a presence in a state in order to provide their service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Berenerd (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 6:24am

    In all fairness, this Administration is not big on consequences for their actions. I can't blame the companies for being caught off guard for having to have consequences.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 6:28am

    extremes are the problem

    There's 3 sides to every story:
    what he said
    what she said
    and what really happened.
    In a nut shell, the net neutrality debate has 2 extremes that are both erroneous. The extreme democratic view (too much government regulation) would only lead to bureaucratic clog ups in a slower, censored internet; while the extreme republican view (no government regulation) would lead to geographic ISP monopolies (or oligopolies) with ever increasing "service" fees.
    BOTH EXTREMES ARE UNDESIRABLE and UNSUSTAINABLE
    In the end, as long as we, the consumers, continue to pay the ISPs, nothing will change.
    Stop waiting on lobbyist paid politicians to do what we can do for ourselves. March on Washington, local ISP protests, sit-ins at Comcast's headquarters, something!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Thad (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 9:14am

    Re: extremes are the problem

    The extreme democratic view (too much government regulation) would only lead to bureaucratic clog ups in a slower, censored internet

    Who is advocating for this? Cite names of specific Democratic officeholders, please.

    In the end, as long as we, the consumers, continue to pay the ISPs, nothing will change.

    "Just stop using the Internet," says guy on the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    Hyperbole much, Thad?
    Read again where I suggested marching on Washington, or organizing a sit-in at Comcast. As long as defeatists like you continue to do nothing, the ISPs will be happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    We could go to the library, or Starbucks, for internet access during this temporary time of protest. Can we have progress without sacrifice? History says NO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Thad (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    And I salute you for the brave sacrifice you've made by posting in this comments section to vaguely suggest that somebody do something, sometime, maybe, at some future date to be determined.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    And I solute you, Sir, for your typical crab in the bucket attempt at finding, or even suggesting, a fix to the problem.
    Thanks for saving our lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    Which raises the question: Where are you posting from? Are you following your own advice and only using the internet at your local library/starbucks, or are you hypocritically calling for others to do what you will not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    nasch (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 3:38pm

    Re: extremes are the problem

    You didn't answer the other question. What is the "extreme democratic view" and who holds it? We all know about the extreme view of Ajit Pai, but I'm not familiar with this problematic proposal on the other side that would lead to "a slower, censored internet".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    And I solute you, Sir, for your typical crab in the bucket attempt at finding, or even suggesting, a fix to the problem.
    Thanks for saving our lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    Oh, another crab!
    Do you have suggestions also to fix the status quo?
    ...crickets...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2019 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    You do realize that both sides of the aisle are paid by lobbyists, right?
    You do realize that both sides of the aisle generally unanimously vote for their own pay raises?
    You do realize that both sides of the aisles are against congressional term limits?
    Get your political affiliation out of my logic. If either side had complete control of the laws governing the internet, they would make things even worse. What we need is legitimate compromise. Over (gov.) regulation is just as wrong as under (gov.) regulation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Apr 2019 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    Notably lacking in your response: An answer to my question, and given how simple it was the fact that you tried(and failed) to avoid answering by changing the subject leads me to conclude that you are in fact a hypocrite demanding that others do what you will not. Thanks for clearing that up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    nasch (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: extremes are the problem

    What we need is legitimate compromise. Over (gov.) regulation is just as wrong as under (gov.) regulation.

    Continuing to not answer the question. Interesting, I wonder why.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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