Washington Becomes First State to Approve Its Own Net-Neutrality Rules

07 March, 2018, 11:54 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • More tech companies join fight against net neutrality repeal

Today Washington state became the first state in the U.S.to sign a bill to protect an open internet.

Washington's new law, House Bill 2282, protects those net neutrality rules at the state level, ensuring that internet providers can not advantageously manipulate internet speeds and access to content. The law doesn't stop providers from imposing data limits, and doesn't address the practice of allowing certain content to bypass data limits, known as "zero rating".

People demonstrated in December at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, against the proposed repeal of net neutrality. "[Washington state governor Jay] Inslee said he was confident of its legality, saying 'the states have a full right to protect their citizens'". He further added taking swipe at president Trump for allegedly favoring corporates, "a clear case of the Trump administration favoring powerful corporate interests over the interests of millions of Washingtonians and Americans". But Oregon's measure wouldn't put any new requirements on internet providers.

Opponents of the change in the federal regulations fear that without strong rules, internet service providers will create faster and slower lanes online to extract fees for better service.

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In a bipartisan effort, the state's legislators passed House Bill 2282. which was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

At the same time, Superior residents are paying the same monthly rate as residents of La Crosse for slower internet service, said Tylor Elm, city councilman and co-owner of the computer fix shop DiscoverPC.net. Consumer advocates, joined by major technology companies, are challenging the legality of the FCC's action.

Senate Democrats, industry leaders and net neutrality activists say the FCC's move to toss out the Obama-era rules will bog down and end the Internet as we know it. The Washington Post piece is fair-minded, to be sure, but it's worth noting that nothing can truly be known on this score until FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality rules goes into effect. Washington's law will take effect in June.

A spokesman for CenturyLink said in an email the company bills customers according to speed tiers, noting that customers could upgrade to a higher speed in their tier at no additional cost if the equipment servicing their address is upgraded.

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