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2024 Montana Primary elections
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Republicans Praise Net Neutrality Repeal

Internet things

The Republicans in Montana’s congressional delegation praised the Federal Communications Commission’s vote Thursday to dismantle Obama-era regulations on so-called internet neutrality. Democrat Jon Tester said it will be bad for Montana entrepreneurs.

The day before the FCC’s party line vote, Democratic Senator Jon Tester said that a decision to repeal the "net-neutrality" rule would be devastating to the internet.

“The internet has always been open, fair, and been an incredible economic opportunity to small businesses and families, and big business too, as far as that goes,” Tester said.

The FCC’s vote Thursday got rid of rules that barred companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from playing favorites with internet apps and sites, according to an Associated Press report.

Although Tester disagrees with the FCC’s Thursday vote, this spring  he was among just a handful of Democratic senators who voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the FCC. Ajit Pai quickly moved to sweep away the regulations aimed at internet consumer protection.

At the time, Tester said the country needed an FCC Chairman who understands challenges of reliable internet and phone service in rural communities. Tester said he would hold the chairman accountable to ensure that he protects access to a free and open internet.

Republican Senator Steve Daines supports the removal of the net neutrality rules. In an emailed statement he said “relieving our businesses of burdensome regulations passed under the Obama Administration will free them to innovate, hire more workers, and provide faster Internet to rural communities.”

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte also sent MTPR an emailed statement in support of the FCC’s decision. Gianforte said the internet created good-paying jobs to innovative companies but "two years ago the Obama administration imposed regulations on the internet that were a solution looking for a problem that didn’t exist."

Both Gianforte and Senator Daines became wealthy as executives at a Bozeman software company.

Tester slams FCC decision to repeal net neutrality.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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