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McLane: Net neutrality violated at Capitol

In arguing against a net neutrality contracting bill, Republican Leader Rep. Mike McLane accused Democratic leadership of failing to follow the principles of net neutrality by blocking certain web content at the Capitol.

PAMPLIN FILE PHOTO - House Republican Leader Rep. Mike McLane of Powell ButteIn arguing against passage of a net neutrality contracting bill Feb. 26, Republican leader Rep. Mike McLane of Powell Butte accused House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney of failing to abide by the principles of an open internet.

House Bill 4155 prohibits governmental entities in Oregon from contracting with internet providers that block, slow down or charge more for certain content. The bill was meant as pushback against a decision by the Federal Communications Commission in December to repeal net neutrality regulations.

McLane argued that the bill was being passed in haste and needs more time for analysis.

He asked if there were any instances of companies blocking, slowing down or charging more for content since the FCC's decision.

"I know one instance happened in this building when the speaker and the (Senate) president … decided to slow down internet to certain websites on the Capital Wireless access."

Willamette Week reported Feb. 18 that the legislative administrator had to block access to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, dating sites and gambling because lobbyists were using too much bandwidth.

"It is ironic that the first time anyone can document, at least in this state, when net neutrality wasn't practiced it's here."

The bill was approved by both chambers and awaits the signature of Gov. Kate Brown to become law.