Friday, 22 June, 2018

Washington becomes first state to pass net neutrality law after FCC repeal

Washington is the first state to protect net neutrality Modal Trigger Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements. AP
Oscar Goodwin | 07 March, 2018, 00:25

In Hawaii, Governor David Ige ordered state government agencies to only take Internet-related services from companies whose contracts include net neutrality principles. 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. When it goes into effect on June 6, internet service providers will be barred from blocking or throttling speeds for websites. With federal authorities moving in the opposite direction, do states have any leeway to implement their own rules? The FCC has a clause in its decision that forbids state legislation to contradict it, so a protracted legal fight may be inevitable.

"We've seen the power of an open internet", Inslee said after signing the bill.

Inslee said Monday that he's not concerned about potential challenges to the bill. "It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world - or a small business to compete in the global marketplace".

"Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet", Inslee said during today's bill signing ceremony. Nevertheless, consumers across the political spectrum were angered by the FCC's vote to repeal the rules, with many expressing concerns that the end of net neutrality could dampen free speech, lead to higher costs for consumers and allow ISPs to decide what services they use on the web.

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. "Washington lawmakers are helping make sure that remains true". It also bans the throttling of certain Internet traffic-something providers have in the past done with Internet voice services-along with paid prioritization.

Main, who opposed the bill, added, "There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations".

With the publishing of the FCC's order in the Federal Register late last month, Congress has 60 days in which to pass a resolution of disapproval that would reverse the FCC action. Stay tuned for more lawsuits!

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