Opinion

Miller contests repeal of net neutrality

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is working with state attorneys general in 20 other states to challenge the federal government?s repeal of ?net neutrality.?


They hope to reinstate Federal Communications Commission rules that barred internet service providers from intentionally blocking, slowing down or charging money for specific websites and online content. Miller says such protections are needed, especially for Iowans in small towns and rural areas.


?In our rural areas, where many consumers may have only a single internet service provider at best, the FCC?s repeal means that provider now gets to pick winners and losers by choosing what content you can load fast, slow, or not at all,? Miller said. ?I?m concerned that this could widen our existing urban-rural digital divide.?


Net neutrality rules, passed in 2015, prevented internet service providers from slowing or blocking the digital flow of content and applications, and from offering faster data channels for those willing to pay more.


The repeal enables ISPs to give preference to some sites, block or reduce data speeds for others, and charge users to access specific content.


That is not good news for Iowans.


?Unfettered data access shouldn?t be a luxury,? Miller says. ?It?s a necessity that?s vital to our nation?s economy and our state?s economy.?


 


? Sen. Rich Taylor represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.