Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs first state law to protect net neutrality

07 March, 2018, 07:29 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Washington leaders, keep up the fight to restore net neutrality

Your internet service should be free of slow lanes and corporate favoritism if legislation just signed in Washington state and awaiting the governor's signature in OR works as intended.

People demonstrated in December at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, against the proposed repeal of net neutrality.

Several governors have signed executive orders to restore net neutrality policies in their states.

The bill received strong bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, overcoming the objections of opponents who said the state should wait for Congress to enact nationwide legislation.

Washington became the first state in the country on Monday to pass its own net neutrality law in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of the popular Obama-era rules.

As he has done frequently over the past year, Inslee took aim at President Donald Trump's administration, saying the decision by the Federal Communications Commission was "a clear case of the Trump administration favoring powerful corporate interests over the interests of millions of Washingtonians and Americans". Washington also has authority to protect residents under its Consumer Protection Act.




Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, filed a suit federal court in Washington, D.C. last month challenging the FCC's new rules. Chairman Ajit Pai has said the rules were too intrusive.

ISPs including AT&T and Comcast have said they won't block or throttle legal websites with the relaxed rules but left open the possibility of charging more for some content. He believes the state can withstand any legal challenge to the new law.

Last month, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill requiring state and local government to acquire only broadband access from companies complying with Net-neutrality standards.

The decision to keep net neutrality rules in the state - a move which 25 other states, including California, Illinois, and NY, are also considering - presents a rather curious conundrum.

The law essentially reproduces the FCC's net neutrality policy that went into effect in 2015.

Senator Scott Wiener introduced the legislation in January, saying net neutrality "was essential to our 21st century democracy". The difference is that Washington's law will put new requirements on ISPs, and that violations will be enforceable thanks to the state's Consumer Protection Act.

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