NY May Refuse State Contracts To Net Neutrality Offenders

The state of New York may decide against conducting business with net neutrality offenders in order to protect the principles of the open Internet that the United States Federal Communications Commission scrapped earlier this month, as suggested in a recent legislative proposal authored by New York Assembly member Patricia Fahy. The move is presented as a direct act of defiance to the FCC's controversial "Restoring Internet Freedom" act and may be the only immediately effective method of continuing the fight for the neutrality of the World Wide Web on a state level. The act contains a provision that prevents states from enacting their own net neutrality laws, though that particular clause is also set to be tested by New York as soon as next year, as indicated by the same proposal.

Critics of the provision argue it violates state rights and a number of lawsuits are likely to target it in the coming months. The Republican-led FCC claims the Title II regulations adopted by the same agency in 2015 under former Chairman Tom Wheeler discourage investments and consequently slow down innovation and job growth in the industry, with net neutrality proponents still demanding proof of such claims that was never delivered. It's currently unclear whether the FCC's attempt to prevent states from enacting their own legislation meant to preserve the open Internet will hold up in court which may not be a given even if the main order stands. The repeal of Title II regulations allows Internet service providers to throttle subscribers' connections to certain websites and hence freely discriminate against them on a per-domain basis.

The ISP industry already vowed to keep its efforts to preserve the openness of the Internet transparent in a move that critics labeled as dishonest, arguing that companies cannot be realistically expected to continue enforcing the principles of net neutrality on their own when they're able to profit from doing the opposite, i.e. forcing large websites into paying additional fees so that consumers are able to continue accessing their content unthrottled. The state of New York is expected to provide more details on its plan to keep fighting for the open Internet in early 2018.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]