Washington Becomes First State To Sign Net Neutrality Bill Into Law

Paul Tong  Op-Art

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may have repealed net neutrality in a controversial vote past year, but the rules protecting the internet's freedom aren't going down without a fight.

Washington State governor Jay Inslee said at the signing ceremony: "We've seen the power of an open internet". "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".

Months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules, those against the repeal are mounting ever more pressure. It also bans the throttling of certain Internet traffic-something providers have in the past done with Internet voice services-along with paid prioritization. Bird stated that, "As more of our economic opportunities such as education, health care, banking, job functions, media viewing and relationships thrive online, the more important it is to preserve consumer choice". Other states, such as California and Washington, have cast a much wider net with bills created to effectively restore several net neutrality regulations for ISPs serving state agencies, businesses, and consumers alike.

Last month, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill requiring state and local government to acquire only broadband access from companies complying with Net-neutrality standards.

"This is not a partisan issue", said Norma Smith, a Republican who co-sponsored the bill.

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The FCC went forward with its repeal of net neutrality protections in December despite the fact that some polls showed the overwhelming majority of voters supported keeping the rules.

Plus: There are 25 states total planning similar legislation. The open internet lives on for Washingtonians.

"The fight for net neutrality is the fight for civil liberties and a more vibrant culture", Candace Martin, commercial counsel for Kickstarter.

It should come as no surprise that a progressive, technologically-savvy state, Washington, is setting up its own net-neutrality rules.

In 2015, the FCC voted 3 to 2 along party lines to approve rules enshrining what's known as net neutrality - the idea that all types of digital traffic should be treated equally, whether it's email, Web content, video or any other kind of data.

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