In the wake of the Federal Communications Commission repealing its net neutrality rules, state legislators are taking matters into their own hands.
On Monday, Steve Bullock became the first U.S. governor to sign an executive order stating that any internet providers signed by the state must refrain from impairing, throttling, degrading, or blocking internet traffic based on content, payment, or prioritization.
Standing alongside a group of computer science students at the same high school he attended growing up, Montana’s governor said: “For as long as you, or I, or anyone in this room has used the internet, we’ve had certain expectations about how things work. We’ve had access to a free and open internet. But a free and open internet is no longer guaranteed. The loss of internet neutrality principles threatens the future of the students standing in this very room.”
“There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision by Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality rules, which keep the internet free and open. It’s time to actually do something about it,” said Bullock. “This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality. We can’t wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules.”
Following Bullock’s announcement earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York signed a similar order demanding the same for his own state.
Cuomo said in a statement: “The FCC’s dangerous ruling goes against the core values of our democracy, and New York will do everything in our power to protect net neutrality and the free exchange of ideas.”
“With this executive order, we reaffirm our commitment to freedom and democracy and help ensure that the internet remains free and open to all,” he continued.
Bullock has challenged other states and businesses to follow suit, saying that he “will personally email” them the template.
I signed an executive order at my former high school to ensure the State of Montana will only do business with companies that adhere to #netneutrality and I'm inviting all other states to join me - if you want a copy, I'll personally email it to you. pic.twitter.com/ZZSJ0ZrELp— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) January 22, 2018
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Reprint (Photo of Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow, CC)