Congressman Mike Coffman Urges the FCC to Delay Vote on Net Neutrality

Colorado’s Republican Congressman Mike Coffman, on Tuesday became the first Republican to urge regulators to delay a vote on net neutrality, which would repeal open internet rules adopted two years ago.

In a letter to Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman who proposed the changes, Coffman said altering the rules “may well have significant unanticipated negative consequences.” He requested Pai let Congress hold hearings on the issue and pass open internet laws.

“As you stated in your dissent to the previous FCC’s open Internet proceeding, ‘A dispute this fundamental is not for us, five unelected individuals, to decide'”, the Colorado Republican quoted in his letter.

‘Instead it should be resolved by the people’s elected representatives, those who choose the direction of government — and those whom the American people can hold accountable for that choice.’ ”

In his letter, Coffman neither endorsed nor opposed net neutrality.

Other Republicans, including Utah Congressman John Curtis and Senator Susan Collins from Maine, expressed concerns but not asked Pai to delay the vote.

Pai, who joined the Trump administration as FCC chairman in October and proposed his alternative last month, wants a return to pre-2015, when “the FCC treated high-speed Internet access as a lightly regulated ‘information service’ ” instead of a “heavily regulated ‘telecommunications service,’ ” Pai wrote.

Prior to his role as FCC chairman for the Trump administration, Pai worked as a lawyer for Verizon who could potentially profit from a repeal of net neutrality.

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