Net Neutrality: What’s Next for Colorado

Responses and local alternatives to internet giants begin to take shape

The Federal Communications Commission’s vote to repeal net neutrality rules earlier this month has raised concerns about coming changes to the way we use the internet. The FCC called for a uniform federal regulatory approach in its “Restore Internet Freedom” proposal to repeal the 2015 rules on net neutrality. The order promises to implement transparency requirements for internet service providers to prevent them from creating “fast lanes,” or paid prioritization, or blocking websites. The proposal reverts internet classification back to an “information service” under the Telecommunications Act.

“Overall, I see the FCC decision as beneficial to broadband providers,” Armstrong Teasdale partner Bill Ojile said. “But, I do not believe that benefit to providers equals harm to consumers.”

Soon after the vote, Comcast senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer David Cohen wrote a blog post on Comcast’s website saying the company will “not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content on the Internet; we will be fully transparent with respect to our practices; and we have not entered into any paid prioritization arrangements, and we have no plans to do so. Comcast customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of an open Internet today, tomorrow, and in the future,” he wrote.

But many are skeptical that the big players will stick to their word. And a majority of Colorado cities might take matters into their own hands.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the December 26, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.