Washington governor signs first state law to protect net neutrality

Washington leaders, keep up the fight to restore net neutrality

Another potential loss of freedom

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formalized a long-standing policy with rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic, and using paid prioritization for some traffic.

A vote by the Federal Communications Commission on December 14, 2017 will decide the fate of net neutrality.

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Net neutrality requires internet service providers to treat all online content the same, meaning they can't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites to put their own content at advantage over rivals. The FCC's repeal forbids state and local governments from passing their own net neutrality rules, which suggests there's a good chance the Washington law will end up in the courts. "States need to act because under the Trump administration, we have seen citizens, including seven million in Washington, stripped of core protections like the open internet".

A bipartisan majority of the Washington Legislature approved state standards for internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and CenturyLink. "That's a great place for the state of Washington".

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"Internet service providers can not be allowed to substitute their money-motivated judgment on how you spend your time online", said Sarah Bird, CEO of Seattle-based search engine optimization company Moz.

That has predictably triggered a massive protest, one that now includes some of the largest internet companies in the world. One, the NRA appears oblivious to the fact that net neutrality rules would have helped it as well, since the entire point is to ensure the internet is a level playing field for all competitors and voices. Those efforts are following both legislative and judicial paths. Washington's law will take effect June 6, two months after the FCC's new rules are slated to go into effect. Supporters are a single vote short in the Senate but have more ground to make up in the House. Six tech companies also announced plans to sue the FCC on Monday.

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Meanwhile, FCC's anti-net neutrality stance is making more tech companies stand up to it and be counted. In fact, lawmakers in some two dozen states have introduced bills similar to Washington's, while numerous governors, including those that serve in NY and Montana, have signed executive actions that prevent ISPs with state contracts from blocking or slowing data.

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