Published: Wed, January 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Montana provides its personal web neutrality guidelines in defiance of FCC

Montana provides its personal web neutrality guidelines in defiance of FCC

Meanwhile, several state legislatures have taken up measures to maintain net neutrality under their states' regulatory regimes, raising the prospect of up to 50 different regulatory regimes for internet issues. What this means is that now internet providers/carriers are allowed to change how their bandwidth is used, where companies who pay more might get more bandwidth than those who don't.

It appears that Montana Governor Steve Bullock isn't willing to wait for the net neutrality legal fights to proceed.

The state's governor, Steve Bullock, signed an executive order Monday that effectively reinstates net neutrality principles dismantled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December.

Then in November, new FCC chair and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai announced a plan to overturn the 2015 ruling that had safeguarded net neutrality, a regulation opposed by broadband internet providers. According to Bullock, "This is a simple step".

In response to the repeal, legislators at the state level across the country have been implementing policies in order to resurrect net neutrality, whether wholly or in piecemeal.

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More on Governor Bullock's decision can be read here.

Montana's executive order will nearly certainly face a legal challenge.

Following the controversial Federal Communications Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality, a coalition of 22 attorneys general, including Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro, filed a petition for review of the decision in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. Consumer advocates, internet companies like Facebook and Google, and nonprofits, including the New York Public Library, say an open internet is essential to free speech and innovation. Today we're making our choice clear: "we want net neutrality", Bullock said.

Bullock said that by the start of the next fiscal year in July, the order -which took effect immediately - would affect contacts as the state renews them. Of course, if the order does eventually make its way through, other states will likely attempt to duplicate its success. The State of Montana is a significant purchaser of internet services. However, a similar resolution would need to pass the House, and eventually be signed off by the president-a very unlikely prospect. Under the new rules, states can not create net neutrality laws.

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