February 27, 2019
Denver, CO – The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee today voted 3-to-1 to advance SB19-078, Open Internet Customer Protections in Colorado, a bill to make sure that an internet funded by taxpayer dollars will adhere to fair and open internet practices. The bill, sponsored by Senators Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) and Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe County), now heads to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.
In 2018, the Federal Communications Commission repealed the federal government’s net neutrality rules. These rules prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing down websites or prioritizing certain content over others. The federal repeal put an impetus on states to ensure fair and equal access to the internet.
“It is hard to point to a more influential invention than the internet,” said Senator Donovan. “If the state is going to invest in helping build out this critical component of our daily lives, then I expect everyone to have the same access to those networks.”
SB19-078 would help protect net neutrality in Colorado by disqualifying ISPs that interfere with the open internet from receiving financial support from taxpayers.
“As Coloradans, we believe everyone deserves a fair shot, and an open internet is part of how we protect that core Colorado value,” said Senator Bridges. “Net neutrality benefits consumers and ensures that innovative online businesses can start, grow, and stay in Colorado. It’s just one more way we’re working to grow our Colorado economy.”
Net neutrality protects the ability for everyone with an internet connection to access the same level of service and content openly, which is critical in rural areas where broadband is limited and distances between communities make the need for an internet connection even greater.
To learn more about SB19-078, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-078.