Sen. Jerry Moran, local internet provider disagree on net neutrality

FILE- This April 26, 2017, file photo shows a Google icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. Google is spearheading an educational campaign to teach pre-teen children how to protect themselves from scams, predators and other trouble. The program announced Tuesday, June 6, is called “Be Internet Aware.” (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WAMEGO, Kan. (KSNT) – Less than a week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle Obama-era “net neutrality” laws, some are calling on congress to pick up the pieces.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) joined others in Congress on Monday in suggesting lawmakers pass a law to protect the internet.

“Consumers want an internet that is free of content-based discrimination and supports the deployment of reliable, affordable broadband access throughout the country,” said Moran in a statement. “Congress enshrining net neutrality protections based on clear and certain rules into law is necessary to guarantee the internet remains free and open.”

However, others believe the protections are not needed. Jeff Wick is the general manager of WTC, a local internet provider, in Wamego. He said the internet thrived for years before the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

“Facebook, Amazon, internet browsers, all of our apps, Netflix, everything was created pre-2015.” said Wick.

Wick said WTC customers will not notice any difference in their internet service. While opponents believe lack of regulation could lead to providers slowing down connections or selling premium packages for certain websites, Wick said that doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint.

“Actually ISPs like us embrace Netflix. We want more bandwidth because when our consumers want more bandwidth, we sell them more bandwidth,” said Wick.

As for Moran’s call for a federal law to protect the internet, Wick said he’d need to wait and see what that law would entail before he’d comment.

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