Earlier this year, a bill that aims at protecting net neutrality in Colorado, was introduced by state Democrats. Governor Jared Polis is expected to sign this bill into law, after it was passed in the Colorado House this week. The bill disqualifies an Internet service providers (ISPs) from receiving money through a grant or any state fund established to help finance broadband deployment if the ISP engages in (a) throttling bandwidth or degrading Internet traffic; (b) paid prioritisation of Internet content, (c) establishing network ‘fast lanes,’ or (d) blocking lawful content, services, or applications and not provide reasonable transparency regarding their network management practices. According to Gizmodo, a representative for Polis told in a statement by email that the governor ‘supports the bill.’
The Internet’s success lies in its design, which is based on the principle of net neutrality. From the outset, the flow of all the content on the Internet was treated without discrimination. New entrepreneurs did not need permission or market power to innovate on the Internet. With the development of new digital services, especially the ones consuming high bandwidth such as high-quality video streaming, some Internet operators (telecom companies and ISPs) started prioritising certain traffic – such as their own services or the services of their business partners – based on business needs and plans, justifying such an approach with a need to raise funds to further invest in the network. Net neutrality proponents strongly fight back such plans arguing this could limit open access to information and online freedoms, and stifle online innovation.