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Washington sticks it to the FCC, passes its own net neutrality rules

07 March 2018

Jay Inslee signed a bill that restores a hotly debated-and recently repealed-set of protections for Internet users in the state.

Although Gov. Inslee said during the signing that Washington is "the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet", it isn't exactly the case, as the Associated Press mentioned.

It was only in 2015 that the FCC acceded to the millions of activists pressuring it to adopt historic net neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open - allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.

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In the wake of the FCC voting 3-2 in favor of dismantling net neutrality rules that were implemented under the Obama administration, several states have drawn up bills to enforce similar regulations at the state level.

Internet service providers are likely to challenge the law in court. 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".

Washington state has stepped up to become the first to fully thumb its nose to the FCC by passing its own Net Neutrality protections.

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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.

States have fought back in the courts and by executive orders withholding state contracts from any ISP or carrier which violates net neutrality.

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.

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Big telecom companies have said net neutrality rules could undermine investment in broadband and introduce uncertainty about what are acceptable business practices. The companies, Automattic, Etsy, Expa, Kickstarter, Foursquare and Shutterstock, have formed a group called the Coalition for Internet Openness. Net neutrality protects free speech (even speech you don't agree with), something you'd think the folks at the NRA would be able to appreciate. "We've led the world in commercial airlines, we've led the world in software, and today we're leading the world in net neutrality".

Washington sticks it to the FCC, passes its own net neutrality rules