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New York and Montana Have a New Trick to Protect Network Neutrality

January 25, 2018

Slate,

April Glaser,

January 24, 2018-

The battle over the future of the internet is far from over. The Federal Communications Commission finalized its rules stripping away network neutrality protections in December, effectively giving the green light to internet providers like Comcast and AT&T to charge websites to reach users at faster speeds, or even block websites from being able to reach internet subscribers at all. Ever since, state and local politicians and public interest groups have been preparing lawsuits and legislation to restore network neutrality. (Not to mention an earnest, if tragically unlikely, attempt by Democrats in congress to repeal the FCC’s rules with a vote in the House and the Senate.)

This week, the states of Montana and New York are fighting back with a new, and somewhat unexpected, tactic: The governors of both states issued executive orders requiring all internet providers that provide services to the state government to adhere to the principles of network neutrality. That means, for those government services, no blocking websites, no slowing down or speeding up websites, and no charging users to reach certain websites instead of offering the whole internet.

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