Washington is the first state to pass its own net neutrality laws
07 March, 2018, 00:27 | Author: Larry Hoffman
Jay Inslee signed the nation's first state law to protect the policy.
Washington state lawmakers and other supporters surround Gov. Jay Inslee at a net neutrality bill signing ceremony in Olympia Monday.
"There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations", he said in a written statement. "This is about preserving a fair and free internet so all Washingtonians can participate equally in the 21st century economy".
Back in December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the net neutrality laws enacted by the previous administrations, and to give carriers or other internet service the freedom to prioritize traffic from this or that source, including their own services.
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formalized a long-standing policy with rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic, and using paid prioritization for some traffic. The repeal will officially end these restrictions by April 23.
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Separately, 21 states, including Washington and OR, have filed a petition to appeal the FCC's action in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in another attempt to block the repeal of the federal net neutrality rules.
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.
Arguments seem to work for both sides in this debate. The FCC has a clause in its decision that forbids state legislation to contradict it, so a protracted legal fight may be inevitable. Consumer advocates, joined by major technology companies, are challenging the legality of the FCC's action.
But: As the Verge notes the FCC actually made a decision to prohibit states from introducing their own laws like this. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed to the head of the commission by President Donald Trump, succeeded in repealing the policy past year. One such case was a 2007 federal court ruling that allowed the FCC to prevent the state of Minnesota from regulating internet phone services in certain way.
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