Administration

Maine lawmakers denounce FCC plan to end net neutrality

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 Collins (R) and Angus King (I), as well as Rep. Chellie Pingree (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 Poliquin (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.”

Tags Ajit Pai Angus King Angus King Bruce Poliquin Chellie Pingree FCC Internet service providers Net neutrality Susan Collins Susan Collins

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