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Is Your State Fighting for Net Neutrality? - California On Track Toward Strictest Net Neutrality Protections

by Countable | 3.14.18

In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle net neutrality regulations, allowing internet providers to speed up – or slow down – access to apps and websites.

Almost immediately, states announced plans to halt the FCC’s ruling. In response, AT&T urged Congress to create an "Internet Bill of Rights" to provide clarity – and consistency – for telecommunications companies.

Here is how states are challenging the net neutrality rollback:

California

On May 30, 2018 the California State Senate passed a bill that would impose the strictest set of net neutrality protections in the country.

Senate Bill 822 goes beyond the Obama-era's original net neutrality protections. If passed, the proposed rules would ban data-cap exemptions and bar ISPs from offering sponsored content.

The bill was introduced by state Senator Scott Wiener (D), who tweeted:

Wiener added in a statement:

"When Donald Trump's FCC took a wrecking ball to the Obama-era net neutrality protections, we said we would step in to make sure that California residents would be protected from having their internet access manipulated. We have a lot more work to get this bill through the Assembly, but this is a major win in our fight to re-instate net neutrality in California."

The bill now moves to the State Assembly.


On March 14, 2018, state Senator Scott Wiener (D) introduced a bill that goes beyond the Obama-era's original net neutrality protections. If passed, the bill would ban data cap exemptions. As Wired explained, "For example, AT&T would no longer be allowed to exempt its DirectTV Now video-streaming service from its customers' data caps while counting data consumed by competing services like Sling TV."


On January 29, 2018, the California State Senate approved a bill to uphold net neutrality protections.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra is also joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Connecticut

State AG George Jepsen is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Delaware

State AG Matt Denn is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Hawaii

State AG Douglas Chin is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Illinois

State AG Lisa Madigan is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Iowa

State AG Tom Miller is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Kentucky

State AG Andy Beshear is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Maine

State AG Janet Mills is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Maryland

State AG Brian Frosh is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Massachusetts

State AG Maura Healey is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Minnesota

State AG Lori Swanson is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Mississippi

State AG Jim Hood is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Montana

On January 22, 2018, Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order that prevents ISPS with state contracts from blocking content or charging more for faster delivery of websites.

Montana Governor Implements Net neutrality Protections

Nebraska

The 3-2 FCC vote was along party lines, with the committee’s three Republican members voting to dismantle net neutrality protections.

Nebraska is the first reliably red state to buck the GOP-led decision. The "Internet neutrality Act," introduced by Democratic Sen. Adam Morfeld, would restore net neutrality rules at the state level, banning ISPs from "limiting or restricting access to web sites, applications, or content."

Nebraska First Red State to Craft Net neutrality Law

New Jersey

On February 5, 2018, the Garden State's Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, signed an executive order requiring that "all future [state] contracts for Internet, data, and telecommunications be awarded only to ISPs that adhere to 'net neutrality' principles."

New Mexico

State AG Hector Balderas is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

New York

On January 25, 2017 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order that prevents internet service providers (ISPs) with state contracts from blocking content or charging more for faster delivery of websites.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is leading the coalition of 22 Democratic state AGs filing suit against the FCC rollback.

North Carolina

State AG Josh Stein is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Oregon

March 6, 2018: A bill to bring a local version of net neutrality to Oregon has passed the state legislature and is headed to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

Though some Republicans opposed the bill, several in each chamber joined Democrats in supporting the legislation.


State AG Ellen Rosenblum is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Pennsylvania

State AG Josh Shapiro is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.


Rhode Island

April 25, 2018: Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered that state agencies can only use internet providers that observe net neutrality rules.

In her executive order, Raimondo said Rhode Islanders “rely on the free exchange of information on the internet including the ability to access the content of their choosing.”


State AG Peter Kilmartin is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Vermont

State AG T.J. Donovan is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Virginia

State AG Mark Herring is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

Washington

On March 5, 2018, Washington became the first state to approve its own net neutrality rules.

"We know that when D.C. fails to act, Washington state has to do so,” Gov. Jay Inslee said before signing the bill that lawmakers passed with bipartisan support. “We know how important this is.”


On February 28, 2018, the Washington state legislature passed what's being called "the country's toughest net neutrality legislation."

The bill applies to all ISPs, not just those with state contracts.

“It’s swift bipartisan action to protect net neutrality, which is terrific,” the bill’s main sponsor, Democratic representative Drew Hansen, told Fast Company.


State AG Bob Ferguson is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

District of Columbia

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is joining 21 other Democratic state AGs in suing the FCC over its attempt to repeal net neutrality.

What do you think?

Do you want your state to implement net neutrality protections? Or should states respect the federal mandate? Hit Take Action and let your reps know, then comment below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: rzarek / iStock)

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