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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Senate Majority Leader Duff, Rep. Slap, ACLU, Consumer Counsel Call for Action as Net Neutrality Ends

The Trump Administration’s repeal of net neutrality takes effect Monday, June 11th—meaning internet service providers (ISP) will now be able to block and throttle web access to certain sites and create high speed lanes in order to charge users more for access to internet content.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) along with Rep. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford), Vice Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee), Connecticut’s Consumer Counsel, Elin Katz, and the ACLU of Connecticut are calling for the following to protect consumers and small businesses:

  • Connecticut’s General Assembly should make the restoration of net neutrality a top priority in the 2019 legislative session, perhaps even sooner if reports of blocking and throttling are substantiated before January 2019.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives should approve the Senate’s bipartisan net neutrality bill which passed last month.

“Here in Connecticut we had an opportunity to protect consumers from this detrimental change to a free and open internet,” said Senator Duff who introduced state level legislation this past session of the General Assembly preserving the principles of net neutrality. “Unfortunately, Connecticut Republicans have marched in lock step with Speaker Paul Ryan and Republicans in the United States House of Representatives in blocking these critical consumer and small business protections. We need hold internet service providers to their commitments not to block websites, throttle speeds, or impose prioritization pricing.”

“Consumers and small businesses must have access to a fair and open internet,” said Rep. Slap. “It won’t be business as usual once the massive telecom companies are able to gouge consumers and increase prices and speeds based on secret contracts and business agreements with other partners. As Vice-Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee I heard firsthand from business owners and consumers asking us to keep the internet working as it has been. Now is the time to take action.”

“No one wants to pay more for what is now the status quo: a free and open internet in which we have equal and uncensored access to content on the internet. But that is at stake,” Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz said. “Net neutrality protects us from expensive fast lanes, slow lanes, and all-out blocking of access to websites and information. Without net neutrality, we will be at the mercy of enormous internet service providers, which as of today, can legally block, throttle, or discriminate against our access to lawful content on the web. This is not the internet that American consumers want or expect, as uncensored access to the unlimited content and opportunities for sharing and public good possible from use of the internet can be the only rational public policy for the advancement of all citizens of the US.”

“Net neutrality is about the principle that internet service providers shouldn’t get to decide what information we see. The end of federal net neutrality protections is a sad day for democracy, free speech, justice, education, health, and small business, but the fight is not over. Congress must act now to reinstate net neutrality to protect everyday people from a world where internet service providers have too much power to mess with the free flow of information,” said David McGuire, Executive Director, ACLU of Connecticut

“Net neutrality is critical to protecting consumers, small businesses, school systems and others from unfair practices. Without net neutrality, teachers may find that some websites they used to use no longer stream quickly, while others work still work fine—simply because a service provider has ‘throttled’ the site that they don’t favor. With the Trump administration pushing policy in the wrong direction, it’s critical that in Connecticut, we act to protect the public,” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann (D-West Hartford). “Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff and House Energy Committee Vice Chairman Derek Slap deserve praise for leading the way on this key issue.”

Several states passed bipartisan legislation this year requiring internet providers to adhere to net neutrality practices but Connecticut is not among them. Senate Bill 2, which passed the senate in May but was never called for a vote in the House, would have protected consumers by ensuring all ISPs register with the state as a utility and pledge to treat all internet content fairly and equally.

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