36 U.S. States — Representing Nearly 70% of the Country’s Population — Are Fighting the Net Neutrality Repeal

The net neutrality resistance. Black = state law passed protecting net neutrality; Orange = Executive Order signed by state governor to protect net neutrality; Dark Gray = net neutrality bill successfully passed both state legislative chambers; Blue = net neutrality bill introduced into legislature; Brown = state attorney general filing suit against the FCC; Green = 100+ municipalities have approved taxpayer-funded ISPs; Red Star = mayor is a member of Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition; Light Gray = no state action.

The net neutrality resistance. Black = state law passed protecting net neutrality; Orange = Executive Order signed by state governor to protect net neutrality; Dark Gray = net neutrality bill successfully passed both state legislative chambers; Blue = net neutrality bill introduced into legislature; Brown = state attorney general filing suit against the FCC; Green = 100+ municipalities have approved taxpayer-funded ISPs; Red Star = mayor is a member of Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition; Light Gray = no state action.

A total of 36 U.S. States are now actively challenging the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality provisions, either through proposed legislation, litigation, executive order, or an outright law. In total, the defiant group represents nearly 70% of the nation’s population.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is aggressively moving forward with a net neutrality rollback.  But that repeal is now generating an unprecedented level of pushback, one that sets the stage for a protracted fight ahead.

Leading the charge is Washington State, which passed the nation’s first net neutrality law earlier this month.  That is likely to be followed by Oregon, whose governor, Kate Brown, is expected to sign a bill approved by both state chambers.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  As of this week, there are now 34 other states in various stages of rebellion.

Just last week, members of the California Senate introduced the toughest net neutrality legislation to date.  The bill, crafted with the help of policy experts at Stanford University, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others, asserts that the FCC holds no authority to dictate net neutrality policy to states.

Verizon, AT&T & Comcast Ask Congress to Make the Net Neutrality Repeal Stronger

Also leading charge are states like Montana, Hawaii, New York, Vermont, and New Jersey, whose governors have issued executive orders explicitly prohibiting ISPs from enacting neutrality-unfriendly practices like paid prioritization.  Those orders pertain to ISPs with state contracts, not consumer accounts, though they greatly complicate the compliance requirements for ISPs wanting to do business in those states.

Across the map major ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Cox Communications are now staring at a nightmarish patchwork of compliance related to net neutrality.  Accordingly, they are asking Congress to make it illegal for U.S. states to create their own net neutrality laws.

The map above summarizes the various forms of resistance from the 36 different U.S. States.  

In terms of the form of pushback:

  • Black = state law passed protecting net neutrality;
  • Orange = Executive Order signed by state governor to protect net neutrality;
  • Dark Gray = net neutrality bill successfully passed both state legislative chambers;
  • Blue = net neutrality bill introduced into legislature;
  • Brown = state attorney general filing suit against the FCC;
  • Green = 100+ municipalities have approved taxpayer-funded ISPs.
  • Light Gray = no state action.

The diagram also includes a growing group of defiant mayors, signified by a red star.  Mayors from those cities are members of Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition.

Also worth noting is that the attorney general of the District of Columbia is also suing the FCC, one of nearly two-dozen challenges from attorneys general nationwide.

Here’s a breakdown of every U.S. State’s population and level of net neutrality resistance.

(Populations based on the official U.S. Census of 2016; the District of Columbia is not counted as a state but is counted in terms of overall population percentages.)

Alaska
Population: 0.742 million
Forms of Resistance: Net neutrality Legislation Introduced

California
Population: 39.25 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Connecticut
Population: 3.58 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Colorado
Population: 5.54 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; 100+ Municipalities Have Approved Taxpayer-funded ISPs

Delaware
Population: 0.952 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

District of Columbia
Population: 0.681 million
Forms of Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit
(D.C. is not counted as a state, but is counted in terms of total population for this report)

Georgia
Population: 10.31 million
Forms for Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Hawaii
Population: 1.43 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Idaho
Population: 1.68 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Illinois
Population: 12.8 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Iowa
Population: 3.13 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Kansas
Population: 2.91 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Kentucky
Population: 4.44 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Maine
Population: 1.33 million
Forms of Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Maryland
Population: 6.02 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Massachusetts
Population: 6.81 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Michigan
Population: 9.93 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Minnesota
Population: 5.52 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Mississippi
Population: 2.99 million
Forms of Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Missouri
Population: 6.09 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Montana
Population: 1.04 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Nebraska
Population: 1.91 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

New Jersey
Population: 8.94 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Governor-Issued Executive Order

New Mexico
Population: 2.08 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

New York
Population: 19.75 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order.

North Carolina
Population: 10.15 million
Forms of Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Oregon
Population: 4.09 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation (Passed Both State Chambers); Attorney General Lawsuit.

Pennsylvania
Population: 12.78 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Rhode Island
Population: 1.056 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

South Carolina
Population: 4.96 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

South Dakota
Population: 0.865 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Tennessee
Population: 6.65 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Vermont
Population: 0.625 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Virginia
Population: 8.41 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Washington
Population: 7.29 million
Forms for Resistance: Net Neutrality Law Passed; Attorney General Lawsuit

West Virginia
Population: 1.83 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Wisconsin
Population: 5.78 million
Forms of Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Total Population of Resisting States (including District of Columbia): 224.34 million
Total Population of U.S. (including District of Columbia): 323.15 million

Total % of Resisting States (in terms of total U.S. population): 69.4%

Also, mayors from the following 11 cities are also actively protesting the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality.  They are part of the newly-formed Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition, a group expected to add new members this week.  

  • Bill de Blasio, New York
  • Steve Adler, Austin, Texas
  • Ted Wheeler, Portland, Oregon
  • Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mark Farrell, San Francisco, California
  • Catherine Pugh, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Barney Seney, Putnam, Connecticut
  • Paul Soglin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Sam Liccardo, San Jose, California
  • Jacob Frey, Minneapolis, Minnesota

All of these mayors are from cities within states that are fighting against the net neutrality rollback, with the exception of the mayors of Austin and San Antonio. 

Also part of the mayors’ coalition is Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County, California.  

 

Special thanks to Fight for the Future, an organization that is painstakingly tracking the various state bills and other forms of pushback.  You can see their detailed breakdowns, including links to actual bills, here.


 

 

3 Responses

  1. Versus

    Still wondering: Would a benefit of the net neutrality repeal be reduction of piracy and fake news?

    Reply
  2. Michael V

    This should be updated. Virginia killed the Net Neutrality bill so we do not currently have legislation presented for Net Neutrality. It was killed last month.

    Reply

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