(Albany, NY) Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) and Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) called for the passage of their Net Neutrality legislation (A.2432/S.3663) in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rollback of the Obama-era policy.
Net neutrality rules ensure that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not block or slow down website traffic if a website is not paying more for prioritization. The repeal went into place in December of 2017.
Now, telecommunications operators like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast who said scrapping net neutrality rules would allow them to invest more in their networks are investing less, according to the Financial Times, who looked at the companies’ recent earning reports.
“The repeal of net neutrality rules at the Federal level has only served to sow confusion in our courts and markets, and discourage investment in our internet infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “We need to codify net neutrality rules into New York State law so the internet remains an open and accessible resource for all to use, as it has become inextricably linked in our day to day life at work, home, and almost everywhere else. Let’s get this done and ensure the internet remains free and open for all New Yorkers.”
“The repeal of Net Neutrality will likely hurt consumers, students, and small businesses. We need legislation codifying net neutrality principles into law to prevent ISPs from getting richer in our state at the cost of consumers. A free and open intenet should be protected under the law,” said Senator Carlucci.
Fahy and Carlucci’s legislation would ensure that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) follow net neutrality rules so that the internet is free and open to all. The bill also allows New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to strip any ISP of their state contracts if they do not meet certain reporting requirements on net neutrality.
Representatives from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and New York Library Association (NYLA) rallied in support of the lawmakers’ bill.
“The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to overturn net neutrality was a disservice to public schools,” said Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association. “NYSSBA supports legislation to reinstate net neutrality and help ensure that all New York state schools have equitable access to the Internet.”
“The New York Library Association (NYLA) fundamentally opposes any law, regulation, or policy which prevents even one New Yorker from free, open, and equitable access to information, and we will continue to combat attempts to undercut those rights,” said Mike Neppl, Director of Government Relations for NYLA. “Restrictions on the free and open exchange of information are antithetical to the First Amendment and corrosive to a healthy, functioning Democracy. We strongly support the reinstatement of net neutrality rules in New York State, and we stand with Assemblywoman Fahy and Senator Carlucci in their fight to protect people over corporate profits."
Vermont, Washington, Oregon, and California have passed laws reinstating net neutrality rules.