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Archive for March 8th, 2018

States Acting on Net Neutrality

┬áNet neutrality is the concept that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) should not be controlling what you have access to on the internet. Since ISPs control their customers’ connections to the internet, they are in the position to block sites, redirect users to different sites, or cause some sites and services to load slowly and run badly. Net neutrality has been in the news during the past few months as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rolled back net neutrality rules that it had issued in 2015. The final rule, published on February 22 in the Federal Register, eliminates conduct rules imposed by the 2015 rules, and merely requires certain disclosures from ISPs about their services and practices. For more on the history of net neutrality, check out this timeline.

In response to the repeal of net neutrality, states have been taking up the issue. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a summary and table of state action on net neutrality. In five states, governors have issued executive orders to protect net neutrality. Washington has become the first state to enact net neutrality legislation, while legislation has been proposed in 26 states. In the Ohio Legislature, House Concurrent Resolution 18, Continue Net Neutrality and Open Access, was introduced on December 4, 2017. The resolution recognizes the necessity of high-speed internet services, the importance of equitable access to those services, and the protections that had been mandated by the 2015 rules. The resolution declares Ohio’s support of net neutrality, and calls on the President and Congress to protect open internet access. For more on net neutrality, check out C|M|Law Professor Brian Ray discussing net neutrality on ideastream’s The Sound of Ideas, original air date December 18, 2017.