Oregon Governor To Sign Net Neutrality Law

Oregon Governor Kate Brown reportedly will sign a law on Monday requiring broadband providers to follow net neutrality principles in order to enter into contracts with governmental agencies.

"We want to make sure that access to the internet is a level playing field, instead of exacerbating economic disparity," Brown said in a written statement, according to The Oregonian.

Last December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules that prohibited broadband carriers from blocking or throttling online traffic and from charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery.

The Oregon measure, passed by state lawmakers in February, falls short of mandating that providers follow those rules. Instead, the bill attempts to use the state government's power to procure service as leverage to persuade broadband providers to follow net neutrality.

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This year, governors in five other states -- New York, New Jersey, Montana, Hawaii and Vermont -- signed executive orders requiring state agencies to enter into contracts only with broadband providers that promise to follow net neutrality principles.

The state of Washington recently passed a more comprehensive net neutrality law that prohibits broadband providers operating in the state from blocking or throttling traffic and from charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery. Dozens of other states are considering similar measures.

The broadband industry has vowed to challenge these efforts in court. When the FCC voted to repeal the net neutrality rules, it also voted to block states from passing their own versions of the regulations. It's not yet clear whether that prohibition on state laws is enforceable.

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