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Why Rob Portman Voted Against Net Neutrality Protections

J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press

While the Senate voted last week to bring back “net neutrality” protections, Sen. Rob Portman says he’s looking for another option. The Ohio Republican voted against the Democrat-backed bill, which is not expected to pass the House.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, joined the majority in voting to undo the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, which restricts the ability of Internet service providers to alter access to certain website and apps.

Portman say he’s considering supporting an alternative bill by fellow Republican and South Dakota Sen. John Thune.

“(Take) the blocking, so-called throttling, the paid prioritization of internet traffic, that sort of stuff and put it into legislation,” Portman says. “I talked to Sen. Thune about it in the past few weeks and he committed to me that he was going to move that legislation. He thinks we can be bipartisan.”

Portman says he wants the solution to protect consumers and provide certainty for innovators.

“In the meantime, I don’t believe people will see any difference in terms of their internet, but I do think it will be good for investment in the internet and for consumers to get legislation in place,” he said.

Portman does not believe the solution should be left to the FCC, because it could mean changes with every new presidential administration.

The Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality is set to take effect on June 11.