Montana Governor Seeks to Make Net Neutrality Compulsory
Montana Governor Steve Bullock today signed an executive order that would force internet service providers to comply with several basic tenets of net neutrality. Specifically, Bullock said any ISP that has a contract with the state government cannot block web sites or create for-pay fast lanes that would impact its other customers. "If you want to do business with Montana, there are standards on net neutrality you will have to follow," said Gov. Bullock. Mega ISPs including AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, and Verizon all have contracts with the Montana state government, according to the New York Times. The executive order, which will apply to new and renewed contracts, goes into effect July 1, 2018. The move, meant to circumvent the FCC, could face legal hurdles. Bullock's decision is likely to face pushback from internet providers that do business in Montana. The FCC's order itself is facing plenty of opposition. In December, the FCC voted to do away with net neutrality protections. Recently, the attorneys general from 22 states filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the vote. Multiple civil rights organizations and other groups have filed similar lawsuits against the FCC, all seeking to keep net neutrality in place. The FCC maintains that net neutrality rules have slowed investment in new technology, while proponents believe a free and open internet is vital for protecting communication and access to information.
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