WITTMAN VOTES AGAINST RESTRICTIVE INTERNET BILL

Congressman Wittman has voted against H.R. 1644, a bill introduced by House Democrats to allow for a government takeover of the Internet. In announcing the vote, Wittman said the bill would have imposed burdensome regulations that could lead to delays in the deployment of new innovative technologies, such as 5G wireless networks, stifling rural broadband deployment and decreasing investment in broadband infrastructure across the country. Right now, about 50% of rural Virginians lack access to high speed internet and 29% don’t have any internet service at all. The bill pushed by the Democrats, would revert back to Obama-era regulations based on 1930s-era public utility laws designed to regulate telephone companies. After Obama ordered regulation of the Internet, broadband expenditures dropped over $3 billion annually, and as a result of heavy-handed regulations, many smaller Internet Service Providers who often serve rural areas, saw their ability to invest in their networks shrink as costs associated with compliance grew. Since the repeal of the Obama rules, download speeds have risen nearly 40 percent, and broadband investments have increased by $2.3 billion.