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NY lawmakers craft net neutrality bill

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A U.S. appeals court has ruled that states have the ability to help regulate broadband when it comes to the issue of net neutrality.

When it comes to net neutrality Assemblywoman Pat Fahy says it means “keeping free and open access to the Internet.”

“It has helped to spawn probably thousands if not millions of businesses especially with millennials, especially under the creative economy,” Fahy said.

In 2015 the Obama Administration set rules to approve a net neutrality policy.

In 2017 that changed.

“The Federal Communications Commission ruled that they would pull back on those and they repealed those principles, which opened the door for internet service providers to then do paid prioritization where larger companies might get their ads higher or their promotions higher and users may have to pay more to get their content on the internet.”

On Tuesday, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that states can create their own net neutrality rules.

In June, the New York Assembly passed a bill that would give the public service commission jurisdiction to monitor internet service providers.

“We crafted a very narrow piece of legislation here to say, it’s fine if the feds want to repeal this and it’s fine if an internet company wants to do some throttling or paid prioritization, but if you are going to do business in New York with any of New York’s dollars, using the power of the state purse, we said you could not do anything that would hurt the consumer such as with this paid prioritization or throttling.”

It passed 109 to 37.

Assemblymember Tague who voted against it had this to say:

“Keeping a free and open internet is central to the modern marketplace of ideas and business. However, the conversation around net neutrality and the authority given to oversight groups is full of loopholes ripe for abuse…”

The bill has not yet made it for a vote on the senate floor.

Fahy says in January of next year, her bill will automatically roll over, and won’t need to be re-introduced until 2021.

She’s hoping the legislature will be able to pass it before then.

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