Net Neutrality 2020 Legislation

Heather Morton 3/27/2020

Gavel and Net Neutrality Sign

After the Federal Communications Commission's 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 more than 20 states, nonprofits and internet groups filed suit against the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, arguing that the FCC action was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. In October 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its ruling, upholding the 2018 order, with two exceptions. First, the court concluded that the FCC had not shown legal authority to issue its Preemption Directive, which would have barred states from imposing any rule or requirement that the Commission “repealed or decided to refrain from imposing” in the order or that is “more stringent” than the order. The court vacated that portion of the order. Second, the court remanded the order to the FCC on three discrete issues: (1) The order failed to examine the implications of its decisions for public safety; (2) the order does not sufficiently explain what reclassification will mean for regulation of pole attachments; and (3) the agency did not adequately address petitioners’ concerns about the effects of broadband reclassification on the Lifeline Program.

Seven states—California, Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—and Puerto Rico 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 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico introduced net neutrality legislation in the 2020 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.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

Net Neutrality 2020 Legislation
State Bill Number Bill Summary
Alabama None  
Alaska None  
Arizona None  
Arkansas None  
California None  
Colorado None  
Connecticut SB 5

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.

Delaware None  
District of Columbia B23-664

Prohibits fixed and mobile internet service providers that provide broadband interact access service from engaging in specified actions concerning the treatment of lawful Internet traffic, among other things, such as blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service.

Florida None  
Georgia HB 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 None  
Hawaii

HB 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

SB 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 None  
Indiana None  
Iowa HF 174

Provides for internet neutrality; makes penalties applicable.

Kansas None  
Kentucky HB 124

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 None  
Maryland HF 957
SF 1005

Prohibits fixed internet service providers and mobile broadband internet access service providers, in the course of providing certain services, from blocking certain content, applications, services, or devices, subject to a certain limitation, or impairing or degrading certain internet traffic on a certain basis; prohibits fixed internet service providers and mobile broadband internet access service providers, in the course of providing certain services, from requiring certain consideration.

Massachusetts HB 2921

Provides for net neutrality and consumer protection.

Massachusetts HB 2927

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

Massachusetts SB 1936

Promotes net neutrality and consumer protection.

Massachusetts SB 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 1548

This bill specifies that it is unlawful for a fixed or mobile internet service provider to engage in certain specified activities or to offer or provide services other than broadband internet access that are delivered over the same last-mile connection as the broadband internet access under certain conditions. Nothing in the bill is to be construed to prohibit a fixed or mobile internet service provider from offering or providing services other than broadband internet access service that are delivered over the same last-mile connection as the broadband service. The provisions of this bill do not supersede any obligation or authorization a fixed or mobile internet service provider may have to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities or prohibit reasonable efforts by a fixed or mobile internet service provider to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity.

Missouri HB 1782

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.

Montana No regular 2020 session  
Nebraska None  
Nevada No regular 2020 session  
New Hampshire

SB 554

Passed Senate 2/13/20

This bill establishes a committee to study state regulation of net neutrality.

New Jersey AB 1512

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 20

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

New Jersey SB 1180

Establishes “New Jersey Net Neutrality Act.”

New Jersey SB 1311

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

New Mexico None  
New York AB 138
SB 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
SB 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 AB 2432
SB 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 AB 3642
SB 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 AB 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.

New York AB 9508
SB 7508

Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the state transportation, economic development and environmental conservation budget for the 2020-2021 state fiscal year and relates to net neutrality provisions.

New York SB 8020

Requires that state contracts only be 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.

North Carolina HB 861

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

North Carolina SB 308

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

North Dakota No regular 2020 session  
N. Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio None  
Oklahoma None  
Oregon None  
Pennsylvania HB 544

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

Pennsylvania SB 392

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

Pennsylvania SB 393

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

Puerto Rico HB 1427

Establishes the right of every citizen neutrality through cybernetics networks; establishes the public policy of the Government of Puerto Rico regarding the protection of said right; amends Law 213 of 1996, as amended, the Telecommunications Law in order to provide and preserve the free flow of all information and content, to limit marketing practices that create packages for the use of certain applications, information flow or data by the companies that provide telecommunication and broadband.

Puerto Rico SB 836

Establishes as a requirement for contracting with the agencies, corporations and instrumentalities of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, that internet service providers establish measures consistent with the basic principles of net neutrality; establishes the public policy of the Commonwealth for said purposes.

Puerto Rico SCR 30

Expresses the most energetic rejection and repudiation from the Legislature of Puerto Rico to the recent decision of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America issued on Dec. 14, 2017, that revokes the protections at the beginning of Net Neutrality.

Puerto Rico SJR 200

Orders the secretary of Justice to join the lawsuit filed by different states and jurisdictions of the United States against the new regulations imposed by the Federal Commission of Communications that eliminate the net neutrality and for performing all relevant legal procedures to question the necessary forums with regard to the order of the Federal Communications Commission entitled Restoring Internet Freedom.

Rhode Island HB 7553

This bill requires internet service providers to follow internet service neutrality requirements.

Rhode Island SB 2103

This bill 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 Carolina HB 4993

Adds article 25 to chapter 9, title 58 entitled "local government-owned broadband internet access service" so as to authorize and regulate local government-owned broadband internet access service providers. A local agency engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service pursuant to this article may not engage in paid prioritization.

South Dakota None  
Tennessee HB 1060
SB 969

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

Texas No regular 2020 sesssion  
Utah None  
Vermont HB 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 70

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.

US 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  

 

Powered by LexisNexis State Net

LexisNexis Terms and Conditions

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

Additional Resources