Washington becomes first state to pass law protecting net neutrality

Washington leaders, keep up the fight to restore net neutrality

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that effectively means the Obama-era net neutrality rules seemingly favored by much of the public will remain in force in the state.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2282 into law yesterday, which will protect the state's residents from the Federal Communication Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality previous year.

"We feel very confident in our position", Inslee said. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the worldâ€ٹâ€"â€ٹor a small business to compete in the global marketplace".

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.

Net neutrality requires internet service providers to treat all online content the same, meaning they can't deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites to put their own content at advantage over rivals.

It is interesting to see in coming months if Trump administration develops positive views on net neutrality or continues to favor corporates.

And the FCC chairman, who was appointed by President Trump, has more problems on its hands as it is understood that lawmakers in about two dozen U.S. states have introduced bills similar to Washington State. Internet service providers had also lobbied the Legislature not to pass the bill, arguing consumer protections could be enforced by a separate national agency, the Federal Trade Commission. Oregon's house and senate have passed a similar measure, and Governor Kate Brown is expected to approve it.

Substitute House Bill 2282 passed the Legislature with overwhelming support earlier this session. "Without it, the free and equal exchange of ideas is at risk". Should they do so, we know Attorney General Bob Ferguson will mount a vigorous, unyielding defense in court.

We look forward to the day when net neutrality is no longer an issue at all, but rather simply settled and accepted law that everyone agrees with.

It comes after the FCC, under the leadership of republican chairman Ajit Pai, had voted 3-2 in December to overturn Net Neutrality regulations, in a move that many feel will damage the future of an open Internet in the United States. "Washington lawmakers are helping make sure that remains true". We are also very proud that OR is about to get a similar (albeit narrower) law.

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