Washington State Passes Law Protecting Net Neutrality

Posted March 09, 2018

The FCC voted last month to dissolve net neutrality starting on April 23.

The law reinstates the 2015 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [government website] rules protecting net neutrality, which the FCC repealed [JURIST report] the rules in December.

Following its introduction, governor Jay Inslee signed it into law, which should go into effect over the next 90 days or whenever Net Neutrality rules are dissolved.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2282 into law yesterday, which will protect the state's residents from the Federal Communication Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality previous year.

Today Washington state became the first state in the U.S.to sign a bill to protect an open internet. 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. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations in free speech in history, and what's at stake couldn't be more important". Taking a more solid legal approach are the governors of New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Montana, who all have issued executive orders requiring internet service providers contracting with the state to follow the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

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The new law prohibits broadband providers from blocking or throttling legal content, and from offering paid prioritization of traffic, otherwise known as internet fast lanes.

Thanks to Manka Dhingra's victory, net neutrality got a vote in both chambers this session and is now on our books as part of the Revised Code of Washington.

For net neutrality advocates, the Open Internet Order was a milestone after years of debate and court battles over earlier regulations. The Internet Consumer Access Account is created in the State Treasury. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are part of an effort to force a Senate vote on whether to override the FCC's net-neutrality reversal, which took effect on February 22. The House of Representatives had previously passed a similar bill in 2017, but it was not acted on by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with attorneys general from 21 other states and the District of Columbia, reportedly plan to sue over the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules. That's fine. But we know it's a joke.