New York state is continuing its fight against the FCC’s December net neutrality repeal by taking matters into its own hands. On January 24, state lawmakers announced that New York is making moves to adopt its own net neutrality legislation.
“This is about keeping a free and open internet,” said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, Albany Democrat and a sponsor of the bill. “It’s the power of the New York purse.”
The newly proposed bill would require internet providers working with the state and its municipalities to verify they don’t interfere with web traffic or speed in favor of specific sites or types of consumers. Those behind the legislation believe it’s a simple way to use state information technology contracts to promote the fair treatment of internet users around the state.
“This should be done at the federal level. But since it’s not, we have to step up,” state Senator David Carlucci told the AP. He notes that state lawmakers are in talks with their counterparts in other states to take on this issue.
The New York bill is not yet scheduled for a Senate or Assembly vote, but the 2018 legislative session only recently began. For now, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a 21 state (and the District of Columbia) lawsuit against the FCC in an attempt block its largely unpopular repeal,
News of the New York state bill follows earlier chatter from several others states interested in creating their own net neutrality rules after the Federal policy was repealed last month. In fact, on Monday, Montana became the first state to ban internet providers from receiving state contracts if they won’t follow net neutrality rules.
“This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality,” Montana Gov Steve Bullock (D) said in a statement. “We can’t wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules.”
The fight for net neutrality rages on.