New York’s Governor Orders All ISPs to Follow Net Neutrality — Or Leave the State

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo: MTA of NY CC 2.0)
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo: MTA of NY CC 2.0)
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo: MTA of NY CC 2.0)

If ISPs want to do business in the State of New York, they must adhere to net neutrality principles.  Now, it’s the law.

Republicans in Congress introduced a bill to prevent states from making their own net neutrality laws.  But that bill hasn’t passed yet.

Even the FCC’s notorious rollback order says that states can’t enact their own, separately net neutrality rules.  But that order needs to be enforced.

Accordingly, two state governors have now signed executive orders requiring ISPs to follow net neutrality guidelines in their respective states.  If they don’t comply, they’ll lose their state contracts.

AT&T’s CEO Says Killing Net Neutrality Was a Stupid Idea

Earlier this week, Montana governor Steve Bullock signed the first such net neutrality order.  Just this morning, New York governor Andrew Cuomo did the same.

As a result, any ISP is effectively breaking the law in either state if it enacts ‘fast lanes,’ ‘paid prioritization,’ or throttles or blocks certain sites.

In Montana, the executive order applies to contracts signed after July 1st.  In New York, that date is March 1st, less than 45 days away.

That puts the spotlight on major providers like AT&T and Verizon, both of whom provide services to millions of New Yorkers.  Already, AT&T’s CEO has spoken in favor of net neutrality.  Verizon, assailed as a fat cat crony of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, has yet to respond.

Of course, New York is a bigger, more populous state than Montana.  And it represents a serious challenge to the FCC’s ability to enact a nationwide policy on internet access.

Undoubtedly, other governors are preparing to follow suit.  All of which means that unless the FCC changes its strategy — fast — ISPs face a patchwork of conflicting, state-by-state laws.




7 Responses

  1. Versus

    Not a good precedent for states to ignore federal law.
    We are called “United” States for a reason.

    • Anonymous

      It’s fine when the administration is a bunch of fucking idiots.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not “fine” … unless you’re challenging it in the Supreme Court, which probably requires a better case than “the administration is a bunch of fucking idiots.” 😉

        Fortunately for us, FCC rulings aren’t anything close to “federal law,” and they have no authority to tell states what laws they can and cannot pass. The fact that they are trying to do just that, while in the same breath claiming that the previous regulations were a federal overreach … well, I hope the irony is apparent.

  2. Small Government = More freedom

    The ISP’s should leave and see how New Yorker’s get their internet… it’s only a matter of time before Democrats pass law to tax ISP’s not following the ridiculous Net Neutrality regulation. The ISP’s should go to a more business friendly state – New York is not one of them.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      C’mon, that’s really laughable. No ISP is about to abandon a semi-monopoly in a state as lucrative as NY. They’ll play ball if they have to; this isn’t a ‘liberty or death’ pow-wow, we’re talking about billion-dollar corporations.