Montana governor signs executive order to keep net neutrality in the state

Net neutrality news: Multiple lawsuits ensue as the battle continues

Bullock becomes first governor to protect Net Neutrality

The expected wave of litigation against the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net-neutrality rules has begun. Net neutrality is a concept that all sites load at even speeds; repealing net neutrality means that companies could potentially charge more for users who want to access popular sites like Facebook.

Governor Bullock signed an executive order that added abiding to net neutrality as one of the requirements of receiving state contracts. "The State of Montana is one of the biggest consumers of internet services in our state", Bullock said in announcing the deal. "It's time to actually do something about it", Bullock said in a statement.

Bullock's ruling is the first formal action by a U.S. state to mandate net neutrality protections after the FCC decided past year to rip up existing protections for netizens.

The action, the first of its kind by a governor, could face legal challenges.

That makes Montana the first state to successfully push back against last month's ruling of the Republican-led FCC, which essentially dismantled the rules adopted under the Obama administration in 2015. They can block and throttle traffic all they want - they just won't get government business if they do.

ONGC to buy government's 51.11% stake in HPCL for Rs 36915 cr
Through the single share sale, the Centre would be able to meet half of its disinvestment target of Rs 72,500 crore for 2017-18. ONGC will pay Rs 473.97 per share and will complete the acquisition of government's stake in HPCL by January end.

The order states that "the free and open exchange of information, secured by a free and open internet, has never been more essential to modern social, commercial and civic life", and that "Montana citizens rely on a free and open internet to meet the world". The State of Montana is a significant purchaser of internet services.

The FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules scrapped the US-wide regulations, and it preempts state and local governments from enacting their own, similar net neutrality rules.

Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake, sent a letter to the US Congress on Monday urging Washington to restore net neutrality. Of course this doesn't force ISPs to treat the data of Montana residents differently, but it is an incentive for them to remain net neutral to preserve government contracting opportunities. So did Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, public-interest group Free Press and New America's Open Technology Institute.

Through an executive order, Gov. Steve Bullock will declare that any internet service provider with a state government contract can not block or charge more for faster delivery of websites, two core aspects of net neutrality, to any customer in the state.

Latest News