Thursday, June 07, 2018

States pass their own net-neutrality laws in face of federal repeal, setting up fights in the courts

"States are pushing their own net-neutrality laws and rules in defiance of the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal, heightening the possibility that supporters will be waging another legal battle over the popular Obama-era regulations," Harper Neidig reports for The Hill. "Washington and Oregon have already passed their own laws to fill the void left by the FCC’s repeal, and California appears to be close behind after the state Senate passed a net neutrality bill on Wednesday."

Gigi Sohn, a Georgetown University Law School fellow tracking the issue, told Neidig that open-internet legislation has been proposed in 29 states. Also, "Five Democratic governors have gone with another tactic: issuing executive orders that prohibit the state from doing business with any broadband company that violates the principles of net neutrality," Neidig reports.
The issue appears headed to court, because the FCC repeal bans states from creating their own internet rules. "A potential industry lawsuit against the states that have passed net-neutrality laws could hold some promise for net neutrality supporters, says Marc Martin, a communications and technology lawyer at Perkins Coie," a Washington, D.C., law firm, Neidig reports. He told her, “It’s not a slam dunk” despite the preemption clause. “It’ll be interesting, I think that is one of the more vulnerable parts of the repeal overall.”

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