Montana becomes the first state to implement net neutrality

Montana signs executive order forcing net neutrality

Montana's Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on Monday signed an executive order requiring all internet service providers with state contracts to commit to net neutrality, or the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally.

"There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision", Bullock said in announcing his order before a group of computer science students in Helena. "Together, we can save the open internet, and serve the internet-users we represent", reads the MEPs' letter to the US Congress. "It's time to actually do something about it". State legislatures in New York, California and elsewhere have introduced bills promoting net neutrality, but Bullock is the first governor to taken action, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

On January 16, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general filed a protective petition for review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the United States to block the FCC's Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order released last December to rollback the 2015 Open Internet Order rules (known as "Net Neutrality" rules). But if this executive order can survive legal challenges, it would pave the way for other states to do the same, and possibly make the quality of your internet dependent on just where you live. "We can't wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules". "This action by Governor Bullock will provide immediate relief". This also extends to other service providers that work over the internet, such as subscription-based platforms and online service platforms like Netflix, WhatsApp, and other similar services. Today we're making our choice clear: "we want net neutrality", Bullock said.

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Schaake sent the letter to the FCC ahead of the watchdog's planned publication of official rules on net neutrality. Net neutrality requires your internet service provider to treat every website the same, and not charge more to load some sites faster, and is incredibly popular, so states have acted fast. The more states that do so, the larger the pressure there will be on ISPs.

Montana's government will most likely be sued over this, of course, and an executive order isn't flawless.

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