“We will not do business with any vendor that does not honor net neutrality.”
— Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City.
Now, there’s another front in the net neutrality rebellion: mayors from major U.S. cities. Already, twelve different mayors from some of the largest U.S. cities in America have vowed to sever business ties with any company that refuses to honor net neutrality provisions.
The just-formed Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition already includes New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, San Francisco mayor Mark Farrell, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo. The group just announced their existence at SXSW Interactive in Austin, drawing another layer of resistance for embattled Trump FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
The group is even talking about building certified ‘Net Neutrality Cities,’ and encouraging other mayors to sign their Cities Open Internet Pledge. That Pledge requires anyone doing business within the respective city to adhere to net neutrality principles — or take their business elsewhere. The end result is a net neutrality safe zone.
“We will not do business with any vendor that does not honor net neutrality,” New York mayor Bill de Blasio flatly stated. “We need to name and shame any company that doesn’t honor net neutrality.”
This is a coalition that’s growing fast. Here’s the early group of participating mayors, most of whom are from larger cities:
- Bill de Blasio, New York
- Steve Adler, Austin
- Ted Wheeler, Portland, Oregon
- Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, Texas
- Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
- Mark Farrell, San Francisco
- Catherine Pugh, Baltimore
- Barney Seney, Putnam, Connecticut
- Paul Soglin, Madison, Wisconsin
- Sam Liccardo, San Jose, California
- Jacob Frey, Minneapolis
Also part of the coalition is Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County, California. Guess he counts as a ‘mayor’ without technically having the title.
Earlier, Sam Liccardo left the FCC’s ‘Broadband Advisory Panel,’ noting that the panel ‘clearly prioritizes industry interests‘.
‘Name and Shame’ Campaign.
The core group is taking this mission pretty seriously, starting with de Blasio. In fact, the New York mayor is encouraging cities to ‘name and shame’ any companies that aren’t fully protecting net neutrality. Those falling out of line will be publicly outed.
“We’re going to use our power to monitor in a very public manner which companies respect net neutrality and which ones may be violating it,” de Blasio continued.
“If they’re violating, we’re going to use our bully pulpit to get this out.”
The movement coincides with similar pushback from U.S. state governors.
That includes Washington, which recently became the first U.S. state to push a pro-neutrality law. The bill was recently signed by Washington governor Jay Inslee, who pledged to protect Washingtonians from a federal government ‘gone AWOL’.
Oregon and California aren’t far behind with their own net neutrality laws. In a matter of weeks, the entire west coast may be in direct defiance of the FCC.
Back in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has Bill de Blasio’s back. Just recently, Cuomo signed an Executive Order requiring all companies with state contracts to properly adhere to net neutrality principles. Other Executive Orders have been signed by governors in Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Vermont.