Bullock becomes first governor to protect Net Neutrality

Posted January 24, 2018

The governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, signed an executive order to restore elements of net neutrality to the state.

Along with the potential rejection of the repeal, 21 attorneys general are suing the FCC in representation of their states for taking away net neutrality.

Many major landline and mobile broadband providers, including Charter, CenturyLink, AT&T and Verizon, hold government contracts in the state. It prevents ISPs from throttling or blocking sites, giving an unfair advantage to larger companies that can afford to pay them off.

Bullock said he invited other governors and state administrations to join him in his decision.

"Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's 2015 decision to classify the Internet as a public utility under Title II was a solution in search of a problem, and disrupted the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) tried and true approach", the letter reads.

Several other states, including California and NY, also recently introduced measures to protect net neutrality. He encouraged other states to follow the framework Monday has laid out. We've had access to a free and open internet. "It's time to actually do something about it", Bullock said in a statement.

New York AG Eric Scheiderman, who is leading the suit for the coalition of AGs, called the rule changes "arbitrary and capricious" and "a disaster. for everyone who cares about a free and open internet".

Not all states can simply issue an executive order, though. Today we're making our choice clear: "we want net neutrality", Bullock said.

The action, the first of its kind by a governor, could face legal challenges. Moreover, the rule wrongly reclassifies broadband internet as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II telecommunications service, based on an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation of the Telecommunications Act.

As reported by Ars Technica, Gravwell security researcher Leah Figueroa and her team analyzed the more than 22 million comments submitted to the FCC to figure out which were real and which were not. However, a similar resolution would need to pass the House, and eventually be signed off by the president-a very unlikely prospect.

The FCC repeal - expected to go into effect this spring - pre-empted states and cities from imposing rules that contradict its own plan.