Washington Passes Laws To Protect Net Neutrality

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated May 14, 2024

Net neutrality is a much-debated topic, and Washington has already made its stance. The state is currently one of the first to pass laws protecting net neutrality and preventing ISPs (Internet Service Providers) from favoring certain online content over the other.

Democrat Governor, Jay Inslee just signed the House Bill 2282 which prevents ISPs from restricting certain legal content, apps, or services, and even protects consumers from throttling and paid prioritization.

Inslee conveyed to The New York Times, “At the core of our action today is consumer protection,[...]States need to act because, under the Trump administration, we have seen citizens, including seven million in Washington, stripped of core protections like the open internet.

Besides Washington, Oregon is also known to have passed a legislation regarding the matter. However, in case of Washington, any ISP who violates the new terms will be enforceable under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act.

net neutrality

Image courtesy of Metro US

Now it is worth noting that FCC, the Federal Communications Commission has passed a law, back in December, that removes net neutrality rules. They have also prohibited state laws from countering their decision as it might lead to more difficulty and confusion if rules were implemented on a state by state basis. The ISPs are likely to bank on this and sue Washington state to find out if they have the power to counter FCC rules.

Regardless, Inslee states, “The states have a full right to protect their citizens” and is confident regarding the legalities of their state’s law. It is also true that FCC once already lost to a ruling regarding preempt state laws against municipal ISPs.

Furthermore, since the advent of FCC’s rules involving removal of net neutrality rules, innumerable lawsuits have been filled. 22 attorneys generals are protesting against the lawsuit along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and many more Democrats.

The FCC’s net neutrality rules will set in motion starting 23, April, whereas Washington’s net neutrality law will come into effect from 6, June.

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