New York state legislators are finalizing a bill that would mandate net neutrality from all ISPs. And, make ‘paid prioritization’ a punishable offense.
The federal government scrapped net neutrality last month. Now, individual states are fighting back — with a passion.
Yesterday, the governor of Montana signed an executive order requiring that every ISP to adhere to net neutrality. Now, legislators in New York are finalizing a bill that would effectively do the same.
The bill has not been formally introduced in Albany. But it was announced earlier today (Tuesday) by key New York legislators.
According to the Associated Press, Democratic Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy is a lead sponsor of the upcoming bill. “This is about keeping a free and open internet,” Fahy told the AP. “It’s the power of the New York purse.”
State Senator David Carlucci, also a Democrat, said the federal government was working against the interests of New Yorkers. Hence, the decision to legislate. “This should be done at the federal level,” Carlucci said. “But since it’s not, we have to step up.”
Others in New York are making a similar case. That includes New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, one of 22 state attorneys general leading lawsuits against the FCC.
Those efforts are being fueled by surging popular support for net neutrality.
Indeed, the FCC’s decision to scrap net neutrality was met with howls of public outcry, and viewed as a consumer-hostile handout to mega-corporations. FCC chairman Ajit Pai was further assailed as a puppet for his former employer, Verizon.
Accordingly, the chairman has been forced to curtail his travel itinerary due to repeated death threats, according to Washington sources.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are introducing legislation that would make it illegal for states to pass their own net neutrality laws. Of course, Democrats are rallying against that bill, and trying to strategically force Republicans to take a stand on net neutrality — then face their voters at the midterm elections.
More as this develops!