LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors Need Net Neutrality

Philip Weiden | June 2018

Net neutrality is critical to the real estate industry. Realtors deal with various online platforms 24/7. Net neutrality is shorthand for the concept that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. More specifically, net neutrality requires that broadband networks be free of restrictions on content, sites or platforms.

Networks should not restrict the equipment that may be attached to them nor the modes of communication allowed on them. Finally, networks should ensure that communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.

Congress must enact common-sense “rules of the road” that will ensure the Internet is an open, competitive place for consumers and for businesses. Legislation must ensure that Internet service providers may not block, throttle or establish paid prioritization (internet fast lanes). It must further require ISPs to be transparent in their network management practices.

Frequent regulatory fluctuations are not good for Internet providers nor for those who rely on the Internet for business or personal use. It is time for Congress to act!

Congress must support the 21st Century Internet Act when introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO). Net neutrality is important to small, main street businesses, like Realtors, that depend on open Internet access every day to run their businesses and serve their customers.

Removing net neutrality rules could make it impossible for small real estate firms to compete with larger entities on the Internet. The Senate has currently passed the bill to reinstate net neutrality rules. We urge the House to do the same.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.