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Maine lawmakers denounce FCC plan to end net neutrality

Maine lawmakers denounce FCC plan to end net neutrality
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Three members of Maine's four-member congressional delegation said Friday that they oppose efforts led by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to undo net neutrality rules put in place under the Obama administration.

Maine Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (R) and Angus KingAngus KingCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Biden struggles to detail post-withdrawal Afghanistan plans Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (I), as well as Rep. Chellie PingreeRochelle (Chellie) PingreeShakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Porter urges increased budget for children's National Parks program EPA administrator: We don't plan to return 'verbatim' to Obama-era water regulation MORE (D) told the Bangor Daily News on Friday that they would oppose the FCC's moves ahead of a vote next month.

“[The internet is] a vital part of 21st century life and a critical driver of a modern economy,” King said in a statement. “The proposed repeal of net neutrality threatens those advancements by putting speed and availability of information for sale to the highest bidder.”

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“Internet providers must not manage their system in an anti-competitive way that limits consumers’ choices,” a spokeswoman for Collins said in a statement.

Pingree said in a statement to the Daily News that Pai's decision was “plain wrong” and said it could create “fast and slow lanes based on who can afford it.”

Maine's other congressman, Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinTrump battle with Fox News revived by Arizona projection Rep. Jared Golden wins reelection in Maine Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE (R), didn't respond to requests from the Daily News, but has voted in favor of ending the Obama-era rules in the past.

Net neutrality rules passed by the FCC in 2015 prohibit internet service providers from providing faster service to companies that agree to pay more, which proponents say stops large companies from throttling internet traffic to smaller competitors.

Pai announced this week that the FCC would vote to overturn those rules in December.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Pai said in a statement. “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.”