If U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin expects high-speed internet access to reach all parts of rural Maine, he must vote “no” on the Congressional Review Act for net neutrality. It is time that Congress stops playing political games with the future of the internet.

Congressional Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, want to restore harmful public utility-style regulations written in the 1930s for telephone monopolies. That would stifle innovation and investment in internet networks. When such rules have been imposed, as they were from 2015 to 2017, we have seen that investors are reluctant to support further buildout of high-speed networks.

We should be encouraging investors to support rural networks by providing them with long-term business certainty. Sensible, bipartisan legislation must be introduced and passed in order to establish the fundamental net neutrality principles that everyone agrees upon. Otherwise, we’ll see the rules change during every new administration, and the 1930s utility regulations will be used rather than modern regulations designed for the unique properties of the internet.

A light regulatory touch was used for the first two decades of the internet, and it has blossomed as a result. We can have necessary protections that guarantee a free and open internet while also fostering continued creativity and entrepreneurialism.

Weighing down the internet with bureaucratic red tape is a mistake. This is a critical issue for individuals, families and businesses in rural Maine who need access to high-speed broadband internet, especially here in the Fryeburg area, so I am counting on Rep. Poliquin to vote against the Congressional Review Act. We simply cannot afford to be left behind because of overly burdensome regulations.

Nathan Wadsworth

Republican state representative; member, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee