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Welch Unveils Legislation to Restore Net Neutrality

January 12, 2018
Press Release

BURLINGTON, Vt. – This afternoon, at a roundtable discussion of business, education, medical, agricultural, and community services leaders, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) unveiled legislation he will introduce in the House to reverse the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to gut net neutrality.

“Today’s discussion reinforces that a free and open internet is essential to Vermont’s economy, as well as the free flow of ideas, creativity, and participatory democracy,” said Rep. Welch. “The FCC’s decision to gut net neutrality is bad for consumers and entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, and a gift to big telecom companies, who will be able to pick and choose who gets access to the internet and at what speed. Our legislation will reverse this horrible decision so that the internet remains open and accessible to all Americans.”

“Startups and scaling firms need to know that the nation's digital highways are open, unfettered, and provide a level playing field, regardless of a company's size, to reach global customers effectively and fairly," said David Bradbury, President of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET).  "We welcome Congressman Welch to facilitate this discussion on net neutrality, and applaud his efforts to have the recent FCC’s decision remedied.”

Congressman Welch will be joining 79 House colleagues in introducing legislation to overturn the FCC rule and restore net neutrality. Their legislation will utilize the Congressional Review Act which established a mechanism for a majority of both houses of Congress to overrule new regulations issued by federal agencies. Their legislation will be introduced as soon as the new FCC regulation is finalized by Office of Management and Budget and published in the Federal Register.

The following people participated in Congressman Welch’s roundtable at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies:

  • David Bradbury, VCET President
  • Mike Lane, Entrepreneur
  • Chris White, Mansfield Maple Owner
  • Jessamyn West, Librarian Technologist
  • Todd Young, UVM Health Network Director of Telehealth Services
  • Mads Almassalkhi, Packetized Energy Cofounder
  • Holly Moorehouse, Vermont Afterschool Executive Director
  • Ryan Huggins, Sundae Month Founder
  • Art Bell, Dreamlike Pictures Founder
  • Greg Schoppe, Burlington Bytes Lead Developer
  • Luise Calderwood, Sterling College Professor and Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance Government Relations Director