Net Neutrality 2019 Legislation

Heather Morton 10/1/2019

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After the Federal Communications Commission Restoring Internet Freedom Order and transparency rule amendments became effective June 11, 2018, overturning earlier requirements on net neutrality requirements on internet service providers, state legislators responded by introducing net neutrality legislation at the state level.

Net neutrality is the concept that all data traffic on a network should be treated indiscriminately, where internet service providers (ISPs) would be restricted from blocking, slowing down or speeding up the delivery of online content at their discretion. The current debate surrounding net neutrality is principally about how ISPs should be regulated and what role government should play in overseeing their network management practices.

The rule change places primary jurisdiction over internet service providers’ network management practices under the Federal Trade Commission and preempts states from enacting similar ISP network restrictions as found in the 2015 Open Internet Order.

Attorneys general from 22 states filed a protective petition for review against the FCC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Five states—California, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—enacted legislation or adopted resolutions in previous legislative sessions. In a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, California agreed to not enforce its net neutrality law until the lawsuit challenging the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the federal regulations is resolved.

Twenty-nine states have introduced net neutrality legislation in the 2019 legislative session.

Separately, legislators have introduced measures that would restrict ISPs’ use of customer information and adopt privacy protections. For example, two states, Nevada and Minnesota prohibit disclosure of personally identifying information, but Minnesota also requires ISPs to get permission from subscribers before disclosing information about the subscribers' online surfing habits and internet sites visited.

Net Neutrality 2019 Legislation
State Bill Number Bill Summary
Alabama None  
Alaska None  
Arizona None  
Arkansas None  
California

A.B. 1699

Sent to governor 9/25/19

Existing law prohibits a mobile internet service provider from engaging in specified actions concerning the treatment of internet traffic, including, among other things, blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, and impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, subject to reasonable network management. This bill prohibits mobile internet service provider from impairing or degrading the lawful internet traffic of its public safety customer accounts accounts, subject to reasonable network management, during a state of emergency.

Colorado

S.B. 78
Signed by governor 5/17/19, Chapter 210

Concerns the protection of the open internet; disqualifies an internet service provider from receiving high cost support mechanism money or other money received to finance broadband deployment if the internet service provider engages in certain practices that interfere with the open internet; requires a governmental body contracting for broadband internet access service to give preference to certain companies.

Connecticut

H.B. 5016
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 3/21/19

Requires internet service providers that are state contractors to adopt a net neutrality policy.

Connecticut

H.B. 6244
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 3/21/19

Requires internet service providers that are state contractors to adopt a net neutrality policy.

Connecticut

S.B. 6
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 3/21/19

Requires internet service providers to register and pay registration fees and requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to apply net neutrality principles to internet service providers and enforce such principles with civil penalties and prohibits certain telecommunications companies, certified telecommunications providers, certified competitive video service providers and internet service providers from collecting personal information from a customer resulting from the use of such company or provider without express written consent from such customer and refusing to provide services based on lack of such express written consent.

Delaware None  
District of Columbia None  
Florida None  
Georgia H.B. 437

Amends Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices, so as to provide for regulation of certain practices by providers of broadband services.

Guam Not available  
Hawaii

H.B. 1062
To conference committee 4/18/19

Establishes a broadband infrastructure grant program to be administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Eligible applicants must commit to complying with net neutrality principles as defined by Executive Order No. 18-02.

Hawaii

S.B. 253
Passed Senate 3/5/19

Codifies the substantive provisions of Executive Order No. 18‑02, which requires all state agencies to:  contract internet-related services only with internet service providers that demonstrate and contractually agree to support and practice net neutrality principles where all internet traffic is treated equally; and add contract language and provisions to state procurement requirements that suppliers of telecommunications, internet, broadband, and data communication services shall abide by net neutrality principles. Defines "net neutrality principles." Requires DCCA director to monitor net neutrality including broadband and internet access services.

Idaho None  
Illinois H.B. 1582

Creates the Broadband Procurement and Disclosure Act. Provides that no state broadband purchaser may award any contract to an internet service provider that includes broadband service unless the contract provides specified terms concerning access to and impairment of internet services. Requires each internet service provider to make available on its website a clear and conspicuous statement informing end users of the internet service provider's network management practices and performance, including commercial terms offered to end users. Provides enforcement and damages provisions. Provides that nothing in the Act supersedes any obligation or authorization or limits the ability of an internet service provider to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities consistent with or as permitted by applicable law. Provides legislative findings. Defines terms.

Indiana None  
Iowa H.F. 174

Provides for internet neutrality; makes penalties applicable.

Kansas None  
Kentucky HB 9

Amends KRS 154.15-010 to create a definition for paid prioritization; creates a new section of Subchapter 15 of KRS Chapter 154 to require KentuckyWired contracts between the Kentucky Communications Network Authority and public or private internet service providers contain certain provisions to ensure open and fair access to the network by customers.

Louisiana None  
Maine L.D. 1364
Signed by governor 6/24/19, Public Chapter 468

 

This bill prohibits a state agency or instrumentality from committing state funds in a manner that the agency or instrumentality knows would result in a direct payment to an internet service provider unless the internet service provider agrees in writing to conform to the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission order, FCC 15-24, adopted on Feb. 26, 2015, known as the Open Internet Order.

Maryland HB 141

Specifies the circumstances under which a broadband internet access service provider may handle certain customer personal information in a certain manner; establishes a mechanism through which a broadband internet access service provider may obtain customer consent to have certain personal information handled in a certain manner; declaring the intent of the General Assembly that if the state or a municipality provides broadband Internet services, it may not impose use restrictions that prohibit the exercise of free speech; etc.

Massachusetts H.B. 2921

Provides for net neutrality and consumer protection.

Massachusetts H.B. 2927

Protects consumers by prohibiting blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization in the provision of internet service.

Massachusetts S.B. 1936

Promotes net neutrality and consumer protection.

Massachusetts S.B. 1960

Ensures a free and open internet in the Commonwealth.

Michigan None  
Minnesota

HF 136

SF 317

Prohibits certain activities by internet service providers serving Minnesota customers and those under contract to the state or political subdivisions.

Minnesota

HF 555

SF 209

Prohibits certain activities by internet service providers serving Minnesota customers and those under contract to the state or political subdivisions.

Mississippi None  
Missouri HB 391

This bill provides that broadband service providers shall publicly disclose information regarding network management practices, performance, and the commercial terms of its broadband internet access. Broadband service providers shall also not block any broadband internet access, impair broadband internet access, engage in paid prioritization, or unreasonably disadvantage an end user's ability to select Internet content or an edge provider's ability to provide internet content to end users. The Public Service Commission may only sanction paid prioritization if it will provide some significant public interest benefit and not impede the open access of the internet. The bill also authorizes the attorney general to enforce the provisions of the bill, with any resulting proceedings including a penalty up to $5,000 for each violation, not to exceed $25,000 per day. Additionally, any individual violating the provisions of the bill shall be subject to all penalties, remedies, and procedures provided by merchandising practice laws.

Missouri HB 625

Establishes provisions for net neutrality.

Montana

S.B. 355
Missed deadline for revenue bill transmittal 4/1/19

Requires net neutrality; provides a penalty; provides the public service commission rulemaking authority.

Nebraska None  
Nevada S.B. 334

Prohibits certain governmental entities, under certain circumstances, from contracting with broadband internet access service providers who engage in certain practices; requires broadband internet access service providers to make certain disclosures; requires the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to adopt certain regulations.

New Hampshire

HB 132
Failed to pass House 3/14/19

This bill: I. Requires the department of information technology to develop a process for Internet service providers to certify compliance with consumer protection and net neutrality standards. II. Requires such certification for an Internet service provider to be eligible to enter into a service contract with a state agency on or after April 15, 2020. III. Directs the attorney general to review network management practices of ISPs in New Hampshire and assess compliance with the 2015 FCC net neutrality rules.

New Jersey

AB 1767

SB 1577

Establishes “New Jersey Net Neutrality Act.”

New Jersey

AB 2131

Passed Assembly 6/20/19

SB 2458

Directs BPU to prohibit internet service providers from installing broadband telecommunications infrastructure on certain poles or underground facilities unless internet service providers adhere to the principle of “net neutrality.”

New Jersey

AB 2132
Passed Assembly 6/20/19

S.B. 1802

Prohibits awarding of public contracts to internet service providers, unless internet service providers adhere to the principle of net neutrality.

New Jersey

AB 2139
Passed Assembly 6/20/19

Requires cable television company to commit to the principle of “net neutrality” as a condition of approval of an application for municipal consent or system-wide franchise.

New Jersey AB 3339

Requires cable television companies to provide cable television service and broadband internet speed to all committed service areas before cable television companies allow paid prioritization of Internet network traffic.

New Jersey

AR 131

SR 25
Adopted 2/1/18

Urges president and Congress of United States to restore “net neutrality” in federal law.

New Jersey SR 49

Urges the attorney general to join appeal to review FCC’s order concerning “net neutrality” for being contrary to law.

New Mexico SB 233

Relates to trade practices; enacts a section of the unfair practices act to prohibit and make subject to penalty certain practices in providing broadband internet access; makes an appropriation.

New York

AB 138

S.B. 4368

Relates to state contracts being only with internet service providers compliant with net neutrality and establishes a revolving fund for the establishment of municipal internet service providers; appropriates $250 million therefor.

New York

AB 1555

S.B. 4746

Relates to establishing a commission to study and report on the potential implementation of legislation, rules and regulations for an open internet for New Yorkers.

New York

A.B. 2432
Passed Assembly 6/4/19

S.B. 3663

Relates to instituting internet service neutrality; provides the public service commission with jurisdiction over monitoring broadband internet service providers; requires a certification for internet service neutrality in certain state contracts.

New York

A.B. 3642

S.B. 2263

Provides regulatory control of internet service providers by the public service commission, requires internet neutrality and relates to the placement of equipment on utility poles.

New York A.B. 3693

Enacts the "omnibus telecommunications reform act of 2019"; reforms the competitive cable service, promotes the wide-spread development of high-capacity broadband internet access, and increases the availability and quality of services in this key economic development area and ensures the safety, reliability and affordability of telecommunications services.

North Carolina H.B. 861

Establishes procedures for procurement of broadband services by state and local government entities to support the principles of net neutrality.

North Carolina S.B. 308

Restores an open internet in North Carolina and appropriates funds for statewide broadband access.

North Dakota None  
N. Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio None  
Oklahoma None  
Oregon None  
Pennsylvania H.B. 544

Amends Title 66 Public Utilities of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions; provides for definitions; provides for internet neutrality.

Pennsylvania S.B. 392

Provides for disclosure requirements for broadband internet access service providers, for prohibitions and for contracts, grants and tax credits; imposes civil penalties.

Pennsylvania S.B. 393

Amends Title 66 Public Utilities of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions; provides for definitions; provides for internet neutrality.

Puerto Rico None  
Rhode Island

SB 40
Passed Senate 4/30/19

Requires internet service providers to follow Internet service neutrality requirements.

South Carolina HB 3342

Adds article 25 to chapter 9, title 58 so as to enact the "South Carolina Net Neutrality Preservation Act," defines relevant terms, provides that a telecommunications or internet service provider engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service publicly shall disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain internet offerings, and prohibits certain practices by telecommunications or internet service providers engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in South Carolina; provides that violations of this act are not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and constitute an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the South Carolina consumer protection code; and provides that a public entity may not enter into a contract with a telecommunications or internet service provider engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in South Carolina unless the contract includes a representation that the telecommunications or internet service provider is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the telecommunications or internet service provider will not engage in, those practices prohibited by this act.

South Carolina HB 3440

Adds article 25 to chapter 9, title 58 so as to enact the "South Carolina Net Neutrality Protection and Maintenance Act," defines relevant terms, provides that a telecommunications or internet service provider engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service publicly shall disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of these services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain internet offerings, and prohibits certain practices by telecommunications or internet service providers engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in South Carolina; provides that violations of this act are not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and constitute an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the South Carolina consumer protection code; and provides that a public entity may not enter into a contract with a telecommunications or internet service provider engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in South Carolina unless the contract includes a representation that the telecommunications or internet service provider is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the telecommunications or internet service provider will not engage in, those practices prohibited by this act.

South Dakota None  
Tennessee

H.B. 1060

S.B. 969

Enacts the "Tennessee Neutrality and Internet Consumer Protection Act."

Texas H.B. 1426

Relates to mobile internet service access in an area subject to a declared state of disaster.

Texas H.B. 3921

Relates to certain contracting requirements for the provision of broadband internet access service to governmental entities.

Utah

H.B. 490
Enacting clause struck 3/14/19

This bill enacts provisions related to broadband internet access service. This bill: defines terms; prohibits a broadband internet access service provider from using, disclosing, selling, or permitting access to a customer's personal information except under certain circumstances; places requirements on broadband internet access service providers related to: providing notice to customers related to the use of customer personal information; and maintaining measures to protect customer personal information; enacts other provisions related to requirements on a broadband internet access service provider; requires the state and political subdivisions to purchase broadband internet access service from a provider that engages in certain conduct related to: public disclosure of network management practices; blocking content, applications, or services; impairing internet traffic; and interfering with a user's choice of service or device; and makes technical and conforming changes.

Vermont H.B. 92

This bill proposes to require applicants for a certificate of public good under 30 V.S.A. §248a to obtain a certificate of net neutrality compliance from the secretary of Administration if the proposed facility is intended to be used for the provision of broadband internet access service. It also proposes to repeal the July 1, 2020 sunset of 30 V.S.A. §248a.

Virginia HB 1755

Prohibits a provider of broadband services from offering or renewing services to consumers within any locality in the Commonwealth in which certain media is throttled, blocked, or prioritized on the basis of its content, format, host address, or source.

Virgin Islands None  
Washington None  
West Virginia HB 2325

Adds a new article, designated §1-7-1, §1-7-2 and §1-7-3, all relating to net neutrality for state government; provides legislative findings; defines terms; requires the state to utilize net neutral internet services and associated activities; and provides exceptions.

Wisconsin None  
Wyoming None  

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Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and telecommunications issues for NCSL.

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