Washington state passes law restoring net neutrality

Jon Howard
March 7, 2018

Washington became the first state Monday to set up its own net-neutrality requirements after US regulators repealed Obama-era rules that banned internet providers from blocking content or impairing traffic. It also prohibits them from throttling traffic on the basis of content and from prioritizing traffic.

"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".

The law bans broadband providers offering service in the state from blocking or throttling legal content, or from offering fast-lane access to companies willing to pay extra.

The FCC's decision is also being challenged in court by Washington and 21 other states.

Nonetheless, Inslee praise the state's net neutrality law and "the power of an open Internet".

This crusade should continue until sense is restored at the Federal Communications Commission, which voted in December to rescind its 2015 net neutrality rules, including the classification of broadband as an essential utility.

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Washington state has a new law to protect net neutrality at a time when the feds are getting rid of it. "Washington lawmakers are helping make sure that remains true".

The new law will protect consumers and small businesses who might not be able to afford higher internet service fees possible under the FCC rules that large corporations could absorb, he said.

With the publishing of the FCC's order in the Federal Register late last month, Congress has 60 days in which to pass a resolution of disapproval that would reverse the FCC action. While Republicans can probably block a vote in the House, they now cannot in the Senate. The group is challenging the Federal Communications Commission's move to repeal regulations governing net neutrality, the idea that all internet traffic be treated the same.

In the latest suit, the plaintiffs argue that the Administrative Procedure Act bars federal agencies from "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policy and rules.

Of particular concern in Washington is the effect on startups with online business models. Attorneys general in almost two dozen states, joined by public interest groups and internet companies, have sued to overturn the repeal.

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