Washington State Approves Its Own Net Neutrality Rules

Mar 09, 2018, 03:10
Washington State Approves Its Own Net Neutrality Rules

It should come as no surprise that a progressive, technologically-savvy state, Washington, is setting up its own net-neutrality rules.

However, there are those that are continuing to fight back against the FCC, and this includes actual states that wish to protect Net Neutrality as it stands.

This piece by The Washington Post has, in turn, prompting some gloating by Republicans over at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which criticized the "sweeping claims" of Democrats: "That consumers will see a sharp drop in Internet speeds if the Federal Communications Commission proceeds with its plan to unwind net neutrality rules imposed under President Barack Obama in 2015".

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Washington became the first state to pass its own laws governing Net neutrality, countering the US government's repeal of national regulations preventing Internet service providers from blocking or throttling content. On the Governor's press page, Inslee said, "Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet".

"All Washingtonians should enjoy equal and unfettered access to the educational, social and economic power of the internet", Inslee said in a statement posted on Medium. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations in free speech in history, and what's at stake couldn't be more important". It also requires internet providers to disclose information about their management practices, performance and commercial terms. The Governor just signed bipartisan legislation that introduces a blanket ban on ISPs to block content or prioritize traffic, and enshrines it into law. "The courts need to hear from the people who will be harmed the most under the FCC's unprecedented attack on net neutrality".

And the FCC chairman, who was appointed by President Trump, has more problems on its hands as it is understood that lawmakers in about two dozen usa states have introduced bills similar to Washington State. If other states follow Washington's lead, ISPs in those states would also operate under different rules. The bill passed with a vote of 93 to 5 in the state House, and 35 to 14 in the Senate.

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Backstory: Late past year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to reverse Obama-era rules that sought to democratize the Internet. That's fine. But we know it's a joke.

In Washington, House Bill 2282 will protect its residents and small businesses from throttling of internet traffic at the state level. We are also very proud that OR is about to get a similar (albeit narrower) law.

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