Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Washington State Sets Net Neutrality Showdown As Governor Signs Law

Washington State Sets Net Neutrality Showdown As Governor Signs Law

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2282 into law yesterday, which will protect the state's residents from the Federal Communication Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality past year.

"We won't let the Trump-led FCC dismantle our right to a free and open internet, and we won't let them create a system where internet providers can favour websites and services based on who pays more money". But net neutrality advocates point to a 2016 federal court ruling that the Obama-era FCC didn't have the authority to pre-empt certain state laws concerning municipal broadband. The companies join 23 state attorneys general as also a number of public interest groups who have also sued the FCC over the repeal of net neutrality.

It would stop state agencies from buying internet service from any company that blocks or prioritizes specific content or apps, starting in 2019.

CNET reports that the bill was signed into law yesterday.

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The state legislators revealed House Bill 2282, after speaking about whether or not Net Neutrality would have to remain in place via executive order. Attorneys general in almost two dozen states, joined by public interest groups and internet companies, have sued to overturn the repeal. Members of Congress have also made noises about reimposing federal net neutrality rules, but their efforts are not moving very fast.

At the same time, Superior residents are paying the same monthly rate as residents of La Crosse for slower internet service, said Tylor Elm, city councilman and co-owner of the computer fix shop DiscoverPC.net.

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.

The decision in Washington means that internet service providers may have to have a different set of policies there compared to other states that they operate in. The Washington Post piece is fair-minded, to be sure, but it's worth noting that nothing can truly be known on this score until FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality rules goes into effect.

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The companies claim they will be directly harmed when the FCC net neutrality rollback goes into effect, which will likely happen by the end of April.

Meanwhile, FCC's anti-net neutrality stance is making more tech companies stand up to it and be counted.

Some states are passing their own laws.

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