Washington Becomes First State to Pass Its Own Net Neutrality Law in Defiance of FCC

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Washington this week became the first state to pass a new law -- House Bill 2282 -- that restores and protects certain net neutrality rules, after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of repealing net neutrality nationwide late last year. Washington state's new rules were signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee yesterday, and prevent internet service providers from blocking and slowing down content online (via The New York Times).

Many multi-state lawsuits began cropping up following the net neutrality vote in December, but this marks the first time that a state has directly gone against the FCC and enacted its own regulations on how ISPs are regulated within the state. Now, the Washington state law will go into effect starting June 6, 2018, barring ISPs from blocking websites, throttling speeds, or charging its customers more for faster speeds on select sites "in a way that benefits the broadband company and partner websites."

washington state net neutrality

These actions are now technically legal under the repeal of net neutrality by the FCC, made official by its entry into the Federal Register in February and becoming nationwide law itself April 23, 2018. The law signed by Inslee is said to "immediately" put back into place consumer protections provided by net neutrality rules, and was "passed with broad bipartisan support in the state legislature."

“Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet,” Inslee said during today’s bill signing ceremony. “We’ve seen the power of an open internet. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world — or a small business to compete in the global marketplace. It’s allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history.”

Besides Washington state, lawsuits and movements against the FCC have appeared in nearly two dozen states, with bills in each appearing similar to the one signed by Governor Inslee this week. Washington state's law -- and any others that appear in the future -- are expected to end up in court, because part of the FCC's rules passed under the repeal of net neutrality explicitly mentioned that states could not create their own rules.

Various tech companies also joined together in a lawsuit against the FCC filed on Monday, with Etsy, Foursquare, and Kickstarter among the companies banning together to fight the net neutrality repeal. Before the 3-2 vote in December, Apple was vocal against the potential repeal of net neutrality, emphasizing its stance in a letter last August that urged the FCC not to roll back the rules. Apple said this repeal could risk "fundamentally altering the internet as we know it today—to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

iModFrenzy Avatar
36 months ago
Now we just need the rest of the United States
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AustinIllini Avatar
36 months ago
Thank God some states have functional governments
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
36 months ago

Great, now the state can do whatever they want with our network instead of our ISP's, what an improvement. o_O

Let’s see:
ISPs that screws us over repeatedly.
OR
States that sometimes screws us over until they realize that we won’t vote for them next time.

Go Washington state
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b0nd18t Avatar
36 months ago
I just tweeted at my states governor to ask if he plans to do the same. If you want it for your state doesn’t hurt to go straight to the top.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CWallace Avatar
36 months ago

Great, now the state can do whatever they want with our network instead of our ISP's, what an improvement. o_O

I have more influence as a voting citizen of Washington State than I do as a customer of Comcast so if it is one or the other, I'll take the State having the authority. :D

And yes, I expect the FCC's clause that States cannot amend the rules will go down in flames at both the Western Washington District Court and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supremes could be a wild-card, but considering the majority like to call themselves Constitutionalists, that should influence them to vote against the FCC, as well.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simonmet Avatar
36 months ago

Yes you would have the slacker everyone loves everyone where diversity is welcome and respected as long as you don’t think in opposition neo-hippie-like country that is both dead broke from social programs and financial redistribution, rife with criminals and scum milking the systems, and ready to be invaded at any time, and then on the other side you would have a strong working America.

Aren’t wealth and health and generally better in the Democrat states?
[doublepost=1520350335][/doublepost]

It’s not just that we are witnessing the decline of civilization on a daily basis, but that statements like that punctuate it even more. If I have to explain it more than that you really aren’t going to get it.

You’re right. I don’t think I am.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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