Washington governor signs sweeping net neutrality bill

Washington governor signs sweeping net neutrality bill

Washington governor signs sweeping net neutrality bill

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.

Washington state lawmakers and other supporters surround Gov. Jay Inslee at a net neutrality bill signing ceremony in Olympia Monday. The idea is that by requiring broadband companies to provide more transparency around how they handle traffic on their networks, the public will be able to know if their ISPs are "throttling", or slowing, certain types of Web traffic.

In December, the FCC voted 3 to 2 across party lines to repeal net neutrality, Obama-era rules that ensured all internet traffic be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs). But Washington became the first to put the practice into law in what was a bipartisan decision in the state legislature.

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

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. "It allows a student in Washington to connect to researchers all around the world, or a small business to compete with large businesses in the global marketplace".

It was only in 2015 that the FCC acceded to the millions of activists pressuring it to adopt historic net neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open - allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.

For net neutrality advocates, the Open Internet Order was a milestone after years of debate and court battles over earlier regulations. Under a nonprofit called the Coalition for Internet Openness, the companies said they filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today requesting the court review the FCC's decision.

The bill prohibits internet providers in Washington from blocking content, services and devices, with a few exceptions.

More than half a dozen other states are also considering net neutrality legislation. Washington also has authority to protect residents under its Consumer Protection Act. We are also very proud that OR is about to get a similar (albeit narrower) law.

"There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations", he said in a written statement.

Related news