It’s office, folks. Washington has become the first state to pass a law that preserves net neutrality rules and ideologies. These rules will prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from slowing down or blocking online content. Democrat Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill (House Bill 2822) this morning, which will officially prohibit ISPs from blocking legal content, apps, and service in the state. The law will also prevent ISPs from slowing down connection speeds, known as throttling, as well as not allow paid prioritization, which is where ISPs favor certain traffic over others.
“At the core of our action today is consumer protection,” Inslee told The New York Times. “States need to act because under the Trump administration, we have seen citizens, including seven million in Washington, stripped of core protections like the open internet.”
While the state of Washington has passed this law, they aren’t technically the first net neutrality law, according to The Associated Press. The state of Oregon has also passed legislation, but Washington’s law is the first where violations by all ISPs are enforceable, under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act.
Back in December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to remove net neutrality rules. In addition, the FCC prohibited state laws from contradicting their decision, so it’s a matter of time until ISPs sue Washington state over this new law. We previously reported that the FCC’s new neutrality rules are expected to go into effect for the general public on April 23rd. Washington state’s net neutrality law will take effect by June 6th.
Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation
to preserve the open internet with our own #NetNeutrality law. The open internet lives on for Washingtonians. pic.twitter.com/3wsmAycWLN
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 6, 2018