Montana Becomes First State To Set Its Own Net Neutrality Rules

Network cables

Montana Governor Steve Bullock just signed an executive order requiring that all internet service providers with a Montana government contract from July 1st and on honor the principles of net neutrality for any custom within the state, New York Times reports.

Following the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the so-called net neutrality regulations, state Democrats are seeking to revive the Obama-era plan on a statewide level. "We can't wait for folks in Washington, DC, to come to their senses and reinstate these rules", he added.

In the wake of the FCC's repeal of Title II classification for ISPs, states are beginning to look to themselves to preserve net neutrality. The regulations will affect major providers like AT&T, Charter, CenturyLink, and Verizon, all of which have to do business with the state to some degree in order to serve major metropolitan areas.

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However, according to commentators, Bullock has been the advised by some public interest advocates, to argue that the state has wide latitude to set conditions to any contracts with the government - one of the biggest customers in most cities and states, to get around the FCC's restrictions.

"Back in the mid-2000s, Minnesota tried to regulate [Voice-over Internet Protocol] as telephone services pursuant to state law to regulate interstate telephone calls", Lyons said.

"This is simple plug and play for other states to do as well", Bullock said.

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Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock announces internet neutrality policy Monday at Helena High.

Bullock believed the executive order could withstand any legal challenges. Today we're making our choice clear: "We want net neutrality", Bullock told the class.

"Allowing powerful special interest to act as the Internet's gatekeepers harms consumers, innovation and small businesses", Ferguson said in a news release. While at the Shmoocon information security conference, Figueroa said that "the majority of the raw total number of comments fall into the anti-neutrality camp", but that most of the ones that proved to be from actual humans (as determined by the analysis performed by her team), were in favor of net neutrality.

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Montana's executive order will nearly certainly face a legal challenge. If successful, however, it could be a method adopted by other states and become a national standard like auto emission rules, cybersecurity notification laws, or GMO food labels. It has enough support, 50 committed senators, to force a floor vote and is just one vote short of passage. However, a similar resolution would need to pass the House, and eventually be signed off by the president-a very unlikely prospect.



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