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Republican Senator to Ajit Pai: Ending Net Neutrality ‘Would Cause Immediate Harm’

Susan Collins becomes the first Republican Senator to send a strong message to keep net neutrality protections in place.
Image: Al Drago/Getty

Thursday morning Senator Susan Collins wrote a strong letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to delay today’s vote to repeal net neutrality protections, becoming the first Republican Senator to directly urge him to postpone the vote.

Repealing the 2015 net neutrality protections “would cause immediate harm to the innovation economy,” she and fellow Maine Senator Angus King (an Independent who votes with Democrats) wrote. “Access fees, fast lanes, and preferential treatment of content would undermine the openness of the internet and disproportionately hurt startups’ and small businesses’ ability to compete with entrenched incumbents.”

Collins has spoken in favor of net neutrality previously, but with the letter, she has become the highest-profile Republican asking the FCC to keep the protections. Wednesday, 107 Republican Congressional representatives wrote to Pai urging him to repeal net neutrality. One Republican Congressperson, Mike Coffman, asked Pai to delay the vote Wednesday. Collins and King called for “public hearings in 2018” before any official decision is made. Their full letter is embedded below.