Washington Supersedes FCC To Pass Net Neutrality Law

The state of Washington has passed through its own Net Neutrality law with overwhelming bipartisan support, and plans to challenge the FCC's authority in order to fight for the right to keep that law on the books and enforce it. The law got a rousing 93 to 5 pass in the House of Representatives, then went on to net 35 votes against 14 opposers in the state senate. This means that all that's left is for Washington Governor Jay Inslee to sign it, which he says he's prepared to do. The law disallows any ISPs operating in Washington from implementing paid fast lanes for customers or websites and services, as well as charging extra for certain content, slowing some content down in relation to other content, or blocking legal content on the web.

While Inslee can sign the bill into law at any time, the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom law not only does away with Net Neutrality, but blocks states' ability to pass their own laws on the matter. This likely means that Inslee will have to fight the FCC in court for the ability to keep and enforce the new law. Speaking on plans to do so, Inslee implied that the FCC does not have the authority it claims in its ruling. A Democratic Senator agreed, asserting the state's plan to take on the FCC if it becomes necessary to pass the law. If this plan works, it could set a precedent that would see most, if not all states passing similar laws. Essentially, this would mean that the clauses of the Restoring Internet Freedom Act that pertain to those particular tenets of Net Neutrality would be rendered meaningless.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai went on the attack against Net Neutrality as soon as President Donald Trump appointed him, and ended up passing a law that will, among other things, abolish Title II Net Neutrality protections. That law goes into effect on April 23. On top of this plan, Democratic Senators are plotting to force a Congressional Review of the Restoring Internet Freedom Act that could result in it being overturned, and they'll need 51 votes to do it. They already have 50 of those, with 1 being from a Republican Senator.

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