Economy

Washington becomes first state to pass law protecting net neutrality

Washington becomes first state to pass law protecting net neutrality

In the meantime, Washingtonians should benefit from special net-neutrality protections in a bill introduced by state Rep. The new legislation, which passed with bipartisan support, cements into state law the rules set by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015.

The FCC's Restoring Internet Order rolling back the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization also said it preempted state attempts to re-impose them, but it is unclear how that applies to state contracts. There have been debates and deliberations ever since the FCC dismantled the Obama-regime rules a year ago.

In order to create level playing field for all content creators and to overrule the control of the internet service provider, Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington signed a bill related that sets the rules for the net neutrality in the U.S.; thus becoming the first state in the USA to have its own net neutrality act. Democratic lawmakers, consumer groups and other supporters of the Obama-era rules are also pushing for a Congressional Review Act measure to reinstate the old rules.

Because the FCC prohibited state laws from contradicting its decision, opponents of the Washington law have said it would lead to lawsuits.

The Washington State law, which goes into effect June 6, bars internet service providers from blocking websites or charging more for faster delivery of certain sites in a way that benefits the broadband company and partner websites.

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At a bill signing ceremony in Olympia Monday, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee claimed the federal regulatory rollback "catered to some corporate interests".

In his statement, Inslee said that consumer protection is "at the core of our action today".

States like New York, New Jersey and Montana are even coming up with their own regulations to try to keep net neutrality alive. In fact six major tech companies have announced that they will be joining the fight against the FCC in order prevent the repeal from going into effect. But Washington is the first state to pass rules that ban network discrimination.

Cantwell said repeal is a longshot, but the effort is important to educate colleagues in Congress and the public "about how devastating this can be to the economy".

More: Net neutrality: The FCC voted to end it.


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