Washington becomes first state to pass net neutrality protections into law

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Three months after state leaders vowed to safeguard net neutrality despite rollbacks by the Federal Communications Commission, Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill to protect an open internet in Washington.

With his signature, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law to protect net neutrality.

In 2015, the FCC created rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic and using paid prioritization for some traffic. The FCC reversed these net neutrality rules earlier this year.

Washington’s new law, House Bill 2282, protects those net neutrality rules at the state level, ensuring that internet providers cannot advantageously manipulate internet speeds and access to content.

“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’ve seen the power of an open internet. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world — or a small business to compete in the global marketplace. It’s allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history.”

The law will prohibit companies that offer internet services from blocking legal content, applications, services or nonharmful devices. It will prohibit them from impairing — or throttling — internet traffic based on the content internet users consume, or the apps, services and devices they use. And it will prohibit them from favoring certain traffic for the company’s own benefit, a practice referred to as paid prioritization.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office