Washington State has announced it will create its own legislation on net-neutrality, setting the scene for a direct clash with the Trump administration. The state-level decision comes after U.S. regulators led by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) repealed laws to maintain fair competition on the internet.
The Obama-era net neutrality laws meant internet service providers were mandated to use all internet data the same. It was forbidden to differentiate between content, website, platform, app, user, or equipment, such as through throttling data. Most major countries adhere to some form of net neutrality guideline and the United States did since 2015.
The Trump administration has repealed the law, but Washington is treading its own path. Under the state’s new legislation will mandate internet service providers to disclose information on performance, terms, and data management. The legislation is managed by Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and violations will fall under its jurisdiction.
“We know that when D.C. fails to act, Washington State has to do so,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday before signing the bipartisan law that prevents ISP’s from blocking content.
However, the state could face legal troubles as the FCC prevented state laws from changing the net neutrality repeal. Inslee is sure Washington’s law is safe and legal, saying “the states have a full right to protect their citizens.”
Fighting the Repeal
Inslee has been a consistent critic of Donald Trump and his administration. He said the repeal of Net Neutrality was “a clear case of the Trump administration favoring powerful corporate interests over the interests of millions of Washingtonians and Americans.”
Washington has become the second state to embrace its own net laws, following Oregon’s lead. The state was one of 20 that sued the FCC in January in an effort to block the repeal. That same month, it emerged the law to pass the repeal has not yet been passed.