UPDATED 22:35 EDT / MARCH 05 2018


Despite FCC ruling, the fight to save net neutrality is by no means over

Months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules, those against the repeal are mounting ever more pressure.

Today Washington state became the first state in the U.S. to sign a bill to protect an open internet. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that effectively means the Obama-era net neutrality rules seemingly favored by much of the public will remain in force in the state.

The law will prevent internet service providers from implementing paid prioritization, throttling traffic or blocking certain content. The new law will also require that ISPs are transparent about management and performance of their network. The law will go into effect June 6.

“We’ve seen the power of an open internet,” Inslee said after signing the bill. “It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world — or a small business to compete in the global marketplace. It’s allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history.”

Six tech companies have also joined the fight, signing a petition on Monday in a U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the FCC’s decision. The companies, Automattic, Etsy, Expa, Kickstarter, Foursquare and Shutterstock, have formed a group called the Coalition for Internet Openness.

“The fight for net neutrality is the fight for civil liberties, and a more vibrant culture,” Candace Martin, commercial counsel at Kickstarter, said in a statement. “Without it, the free and equal exchange of ideas is at risk.”

The FCC’s repeal of the rules should go into effect by April 23, though now that the clock is ticking down, the repeal is facing mounting pressure in the form of legal challenges.

Last year some of the biggest names in tech, such as Google LLC, Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc., formed a lobbying group called the Internet Association to support net neutrality rules. The group said in January that it would not file its own lawsuit but would work with other entities to help preserve the rules.

Image: Credo Action via Flickr

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