Oregon passes legislation to restore 2015 net neutrality rules
Recently this week, Kate Brown, who currently sits as the governor of the state of Oregon, has signed a bill that would have every Internet service provider that has business dealings with the Beaver State to comply with the principles of net neutrality (as set by the Federal Communications Commission back in 2015).
Specifically, the legislation signed by Governor Brown does not place new requirements on Internet service providers in Oregon, but it does bar government agencies in the state from striking agreements with providers not willing to abide by net neutrality rules. The new bill will take effect next year.
As mentioned earlier in this post, the FCC under former chairman Tom Wheeler had implemented the net neutrality rules three years ago, under the administration of then President Barack Obama. But when Donald Trump became president last year, a new FCC chairman was appointed in the person of Ajit Pai. Under Pai, the FCC had moved to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules about four months ago.
The FCC’s dismantling of the 2015 net neutrality rules obviously did not faze Oregon, who has pass its own legislation in order to restore the repealed regulations. And the Beaver State is not the only one -- last month, the state of Washington had passed a similar law (although the scope of Oregon’s legislation is less broad in comparison) that prohibits its Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down web content.
Almost for sure, the bill recently passed in Oregon will likely be challenged by the federal government. Back in December of last year, the FCC did grant its approval of a provision that would bar states in America to enact their own net neutrality rules. But the domino effect may have already begun -- other states such as New York, New Jersey, and Montana have enacted their own net neutrality rules by way of an executive order. Moreover, over half of all states in America, including California, Connecticut, and Maryland, are already proposing to pass laws to impose 2015 net neutrality rules.
The subject of net neutrality is a fiercely debated topic until now. Supported by some of today’s biggest names in the world of technology, the 2015 net neutrality rules calls for an information superhighway where every content is treated equally and fairly. But wireless and broadband service providers in America argue that the 2015 rules do more harm than good by hindering innovation and throttling investment in the industry.