Washington defies FCC net neutrality order - Mobile World Live

Washington defies FCC net neutrality order

06 MAR 2018

Washington became the first US state to codify its own net neutrality regulations, defying a provision in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s repeal order which expressly prohibits such action.

Governor Jay Inslee signed the provision into law earlier this week, stating the internet freedoms at stake in the net neutrality debate “couldn’t be more important”.

“It’s allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in history,” Inslee said, adding citizens of Washington State “will be protected from throttling, from fast lanes and they will be protected in preserving an accessible and open internet.”

This isn’t the first state action on net neutrality since the FCC repealed regulations in December 2017: the governors of Montana, New York and New Jersey have all signed executive orders requiring internet service providers which work with their states to adhere to open internet principles. However, Washington is the first state to pass those requirements through the legislature into law.

The future of Washington’s new regulations remains uncertain due to a provision in the FCC’s repeal order blocking states from implementing their own net neutrality rules. Though more than 20 states – including Washington – filed a lawsuit against the FCC in January aiming to reverse the repeal, the case could take more than a year to wind its way through the courts.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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