Washington becomes the first state to pass net neutrality protections into law
Mar 07 2018
"We know that when D.C. fails to act, Washington state has to do so", Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said before signing the measure, the Associated Press reported.
While several states introduced similar measures this year seeking to protect net neutrality, only OR and Washington passed bills.
The law, signed on Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is the most sweeping state action so far against new federal rules that strip away regulations on how high-speed internet providers handle digital data. OR actually passed a similar state legislation protecting net neutrality earlier in 2018.
In 2015, the FCC created rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic and using paid prioritization for some traffic. The states' objectives were to block a federal rollback of Obama-era net neutrality rules.
In order to create level playing field for all content creators and to overrule the control of the internet service provider, Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington signed a bill related that sets the rules for the net neutrality in the U.S.; thus becoming the first state in the USA to have its own net neutrality act. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed to the head of the commission by President Donald Trump, succeeded in repealing the policy past year.
The law means that national internet service providers (ISP) may have to have one set of operating policies for Washington and another for the other states in which they operate.
Provisions of the law could be prosecuted under the state's Consumer Protection Act. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history". Both houses of Oregon's legislature have passed a bill that, like the executive orders, bans state agencies from doing business with broadband providers that don't follow net neutrality. The F.C.C. said it got rid of the rules because they restrained broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast from experimenting with new business models and investing in new technologies. If other states follow Washington's lead, ISPs in those states would also operate under different rules.
Cantwell said repeal is a longshot, but the effort is important to educate colleagues in Congress and the public "about how devastating this can be to the economy".