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Former Gov. Crist Fights for Net Neutrality

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist
Office of Congressman Charlie Crist
U.S. Representative Charlie Crist

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is coming out strong against the FCC’s upcoming Net Neutrality vote.

Next Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to end net neutrality rules that have been in place since 2015. Net neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be treated the same, and that internet providers cannot play favorites, giving certain sites or services priority over others.

Democratic U.S. Representative and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says while Congress has no direct authority over the FCC because it is an independent agency, if the five member panel overturns the 2015 net neutrality rules, he will sponsor legislation to restore them.

“You’ve heard the old expression ‘maybe this will take an act of Congress,’ well, if necessary, we can have an act of Congress, and if the FCC does this, I’ll sponsor it,” Crist said.

Critics have sounded the alarm, saying the upcoming vote would mean the end of the internet as we know it. Supporters say current net neutrality rules unfairly burden internet providers, stymieing growth and innovation.

Rep. Crist said his office has received a large volume of calls and emails about this issue, none of which favor the proposed rule changes.

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Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
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