Washington sticks it to the FCC, passes its own net neutrality rules

Jay Inslee
Gov. Inslee signs nations first state net-neutrality bill

09 March, 2018

Washington has become the first state to enact its own net-neutrality requirements after US regulators repealed Obama-era rules created to keep the internet an even playing field.

Under the new law, service providers are also required to disclose information about their management practices, performance and commercial terms.

Foursquare, Etsy, Expa, Shutterstock, Kickstarter and Automattic, which owns WordPress.com, said they would challenge the FCC's new order overturning net neutrality protections in court.

The state law, approved by the legislature last month, is to safeguard net neutrality protections, which have been repealed by the Federal Communications Commission and are scheduled to officially end April 23.

The legislation goes into effect June 6th (ninety days following session adjournment), and will restore some important protections that were outrageously gutted late past year by the Federal Communications Commission.

In December, the FCC voted to ruin the US rules of preventing broadband companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from getting more control on what people search and watch on the internet.

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"At the core of our action today is consumer protection", Gov Inslee was quoted as saying.

"It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world - or a small business to compete in the global marketplace", he said. For example, in 2007, a federal court ruled that the FCC had the authority to block the state of Minnesota from regulating internet phone services like Vonage the same way it regulates traditional landline phone services.

The state legislators revealed House Bill 2282, after speaking about whether or not Net Neutrality would have to remain in place via executive order. The new legislation, which passed with bipartisan support, cements into state law the rules set by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015.

While several states introduced similar measures this year seeking to protect net neutrality, so far only OR and Washington have passed legislation.

"I commend Governor Inslee and the Washington state legislature for listening to their constituents and ensuring that the citizens of Washington continue to experience a free and open internet". It's unclear when Oregon's measure would be signed into law.

Main, who opposed the bill, added, "There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations".

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