Washington has become the first state to pass a law to protect “net neutrality,” designed to prevent internet-service providers from blocking or slowing online content in the state.
The move follows the Republican-majority Federal Communications Commission repeal of federal net-neutrality protections in December. The Obama-era regulations prevented internet-service providers from blocking or slowing apps, websites, and other online content, and from engaging in “paid prioritization"—essentially creating “fast” and “slow” lanes for internet content based on the ability to pay.
The new law reinstates those protections in Washington and requires internet-service providers doing business in the state to follow the regulations.
School technology and library associations have raised concerns that internet service providers may restrict and slow internet service to schools and districts.
A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2018 edition of Education Week as Defying the FCC, Washington State Passes First ‘Net Neutrality’ Law