Washington Net Neutrality Bill Signed Into Law, Oregon On Deck

07 March, 2018, 00:09 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Washington Governor Signs First State Net Neutrality Bill

It included a provision that banned states from restoring consumer protection by passing their own net neutrality laws.

At a bill signing ceremony in Olympia Monday, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee claimed the federal regulatory rollback "catered to some corporate interests". "The state of Washington retains its right to have consumer protection laws".

"The fight for net neutrality is the fight for civil liberties, and a more vibrant culture", Candace Martin, commercial counsel at Kickstarter, said in a statement.

Washington has become the first state in the U.S.to pass legislation mandating net neutrality after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in December to end the rule. However, the FCC's order bars state laws from contradicting the federal government's approach, setting up the possibility that state efforts like Washington's will wind up in court.

Washington's new law, House Bill 2282, protects those net neutrality rules at the state level, ensuring that internet providers can not advantageously manipulate internet speeds and access to content. 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.

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In 2015, the FCC created rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic and using paid prioritization for some traffic. The law comes about three months after the FCC voted to dismantle rules that ensured all traffic on the internet is treated equally and prevented broadband and wireless providers from blocking or slowing online content.

Chairman Aji Pai argued that it would lead to greater investment in broadband infrastructure because service providers would have new avenues to make money. OR actually passed a similar state legislation protecting net neutrality earlier in 2018.

Ron Main, executive director of the Broadband Communications Association of Washington, which opposed the bill, said the cable companies his group represents have already pledged not to block legal content or engage in paid prioritization.

The new law will protect consumers and small businesses who might not be able to afford higher internet service fees possible under the FCC rules that large corporations could absorb, he said.

The FCC removed net neutrality requirements imposed in 2015 under the Obama Administration.

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