Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs first state law to protect net neutrality

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs first state law to protect net neutrality

Inslee said he's confident the states are within their rights to regulate internet service even though the FCC says no.

Washington's new law, House Bill 2282, reinstates those net neutrality rules at the state level and protects citizens in the state from manipulated broadband speeds and measures that would limit certain types of content.

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Months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules, those against the repeal are mounting ever more pressure. Members of Congress have also made noises about reimposing federal net neutrality rules, but their efforts are not moving very fast. 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.

Your internet service should be free of slow lanes and corporate favoritism if legislation just signed in Washington state and awaiting the governor's signature in OR works as intended.

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The law, which will take effect in June, does not allow internet service providers to slow down service to some customers, block lawful sites or organizations or degrade lawful internet traffic. 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". The new law will also require that ISPs are transparent about management and performance of their network.

In late February, 23 state attorneys general filed suit in federal court to restore net neutrality as a national policy. Companies violating the law will be forced to comply as the state can use its Consumer Protection Act to enforce it. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history". The Governor just signed bipartisan legislation that introduces a blanket ban on ISPs to block content or prioritize traffic, and enshrines it into law.

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Separately, 21 states, including Washington and OR, have filed a petition to appeal the FCC's action in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in another attempt to block the repeal of the federal net neutrality rules.

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