Democratic Governors sign Executive Orders to save net neutrality.
By Alexis Alex
As the fight for net neutrality continues, Democratic governors are stepping up to protect their states against the FCC's repeal. On January 22, Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order banning ISP's that violate net neutrality rules from doing business with the state. This executive order will require state agencies to only do business with ISP's that will continue to follow net neutrality rules and offer neutral networks. Bullock explains why he signed this order:
"There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision by Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality rules, which keep the Internet free and open. It's time to actually do something about it. This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality. We can't wait for folks in Washington, DC, to come to their senses and reinstate these rules."
Additionally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has followed suit and signed an executive an even harsher executive order protecting net neutrality. The order says state agencies and departments may not "enter into any contracts for Internet service unless the ISPs agree to adhere to net neutrality principles." The New York order even includes a specific rule against charging users to access specific type of internet content an application. Any service provider receiving a contract after March 1st will be required to sign an agreement ensuring they will follow net neutrality principles within the state. Cuomo shares the same sentiment about protecting New York from the FCC:
"The FCC's dangerous ruling goes against the core values of our democracy, and New York will do everything in our power to protect net neutrality and the free exchange of ideas."
These executive orders have now been implemented in addition to the lawsuit from 22 attorney general against the FCC filled earlier this month. These actions are setting the stage for a gruesome battle between the FCC and states over net neutrality. Although these executive order have been signed, this does not guarantee they will stand. In the repeal, the FCC specifically included a rule block states from creating their own rules, so a legal challenge against these executive orders could arise. The fight continues.