Washington leaders, keep up the fight to restore net neutrality

When the Federal Communications Commission overturned net neutrality rules that ensured ISPs had to treat all websites and web services equally, it also decided that its own wishes should over-ride those of individual states.

Inslee said he's confident the states are within their rights to regulate internet service even though the FCC says no.

"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 know that when D.C. fails to act, Washington state has to do so", Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday before signing the bipartisan measure that banned internet providers from blocking content or interfering with online traffic.

The law, which will take effect in June, does not allow internet service providers to slow down service to some customers, block lawful sites or organizations or degrade lawful internet traffic.

Internet service companies have argued consumers won't notice a change, but they also lobbied hard to eliminate net neutrality, arguing that fewer regulations will allow them to create new services. The repeal will officially end these restrictions by April 23.

Last month, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill requiring state and local government to acquire only broadband access from companies complying with Net-neutrality standards.

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Inslee called it an example of the state - what he called "the real Washington" - acting to protect consumers after the Federal Communications Commission dropped those protections.

Some states are passing their own laws.

The FCC removed net neutrality requirements imposed in 2015 under the Obama Administration. Furthermore, as WIRED previously pointed out, an argument can be made against the FCC for violating federal laws that prohibit agencies from setting up "arbitrary and capricious" regulations.

The repeal, supported by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the major cable and telecom companies and opposed by large and small tech Internet companies, garnered intense public interest.

On the other hand, federal law limits state authorities from regulating the internet.

It is one of several states with bills in the works, in addition, governors in a handful of other states have signed executive orders preventing state contracts with ISPs who don't hew to similar prohibitions.

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