Net Neutrality 2022 Legislation

Heather Morton 5/4/2022

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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, and 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its Preemption Directive, which would have barred states from imposing any rule or requirement that the Commission “repealed or decided to refrain from imposing” in the order or that is “more stringent” than the order.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. A petition for rehearing en banc was denied Feb. 6, 2020.

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. The U.S. Department of Justice formally dismissed the lawsuit in Feb. 2021.

Eleven states have introduced net neutrality legislation in the 2022 legislative session. New York enacted legislation that established the ConnectALL deployment program and provided that preference will be given to applicants who commit not to impose caps on data usage on the service provided to the end-user or to block, throttle, or prioritize internet content in the general course of business.

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.

 

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Net Neutrality 2022 Legislation

State:

Bill Number:

Bill Summary:

Alabama

None

 

Alaska

None

 

Arizona

None

 

Arkansas

None

 

California

AB 1699

Specifies that the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 does not prohibit an internet service provider from exempting from a customer's data usage allowance the use of telehealth applications administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Colorado

None

 

Connecticut

None

 

Delaware

None

 

District of Columbia

None

 

Florida

None

 

Georgia

HB 723

Relates to selling and other trade practices; provides for regulation of certain practices by providers of broadband services; provides for definitions; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws.

Guam

None

 

Hawaii

None

 

Idaho

None

 

Illinois

SB 1564

Amends the Public Utilities Act; provides that the holder of a state issued authorization shall not impose data caps on broadband service provided to households; provides that data caps means a limit on the amount of bits or the speed at which a user of broadband service may upload or download bits during a period of time.

Indiana

None

 

Iowa

None

 

Kansas

None

 

Kentucky

HB 422

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 that 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

None

 

Massachusetts

HB 134

Provides for net neutrality and consumer protection.

Massachusetts

HB 139

Relates to protecting internet access during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic. Provides that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and 60 days thereafter, there shall be a moratorium on any pre-existing data caps or allowances imposed by internet service providers.

Massachusetts

HB 141

Relates to regulating broadband internet rate increases, speed and access across the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts

HB 4178

Establishes a municipal broadband development fund. Provides that a state agency, municipality, body politic or constitutional branch of the commonwealth shall not renew any contracts for telephone, broadband or other internet services between the commonwealth and a BISP not compliant with net neutrality certification as provided.

Massachusetts

SB 45

Protects internet access during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic. Provides that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and 60 days thereafter, there shall be a moratorium on any pre-existing data caps or allowances imposed by internet service providers.

Massachusetts

SB 48

Ensures a free and open internet in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts

SB 52

Removes barriers to internet regulation, competition and affordability.

Massachusetts

SB 2146

Promotes net neutrality and consumer protection.

Michigan

None

 

Minnesota

HF 642
SF 500

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

Mississippi

None

 

Missouri

HB 1518

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 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 of 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 2022 regular session

 

Nebraska

None

 

Nevada

No 2022 regular session

 

New Hampshire

None

 

New Jersey

AB 194

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

AB 2808

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

New Jersey

AR 23

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

New Jersey

SB 1993

Establishes New Jersey Net Neutrality Act.

New Mexico

None

 

New York

AB 1239
SB 4666

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 3479
SB 3477

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 3762

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

New York

AB 3910
SB 46

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

SB 3308

Requires that state contracts only be with internet service providers compliant with net neutrality; establishes a revolving fund for the establishment of municipal internet service providers; appropriates $250 million therefor.

New York

SB 5033

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

New York

SB 8008
Signed by governor 4/9/22, Chapter 58

Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the state transportation, economic development and environmental conservation budget for the 2022 to 2023 state fiscal year. Establishes the ConnectALL deployment program and provides that preference will be given to applicants who commit not to impose caps on data usage on the service provided to the end-user or to block, throttle, or prioritize internet content in the general course of business.

North Carolina

None

 

North Dakota

No 2022 regular session

 

N. Mariana Islands

Bills unavailable

 

Ohio

None

 

Oklahoma

None

 

Oregon

None

 

Pennsylvania

None

 

Puerto Rico

None

 

Rhode Island

HB 7187

Requires internet service providers to follow net neutrality requirements when providing internet service to any consumer in this state or to the state and requires anyone seeking a state contract for internet service to follow principles of net neutrality; provides that any service provider violating net neutrality requirements would be subject to the penalty provisions for deceptive trade practices.

Rhode Island

SB 2030

Requires public internet service providers to follow internet service neutrality requirements in certain public procurement contracts.

A. Samoa

Bills unavailable

 

South Carolina

HB 3196

Retitles article 23, chapter 9, title 58, relating to government-owned communications service providers as "local government-owned communications service providers"; adds §58-9-2640 so as to prohibit certain practices by local agencies providing communications services, including broadband services, and provides exceptions; amends §58-9-2600, relating to the purpose of article 23, chapter 9, title 58, so as to define the article's modified purpose; amends §58-9-2610, relating to definitions applicable to government-owned communications service providers, so as to make conforming changes and add certain definitions; amends §58-9-2620, relating to government-owned communications service providers' duties and restrictions, cost and rate computations and accounting requirements, so as to, among other things, authorize local agencies, as defined in this act, to participate in telecommunications ventures in order to provide broadband services to unserved areas within the agencies' geographical or territorial boundaries; amends §58-9-2630, relating to tax collections and payments by government-owned communications service providers, so as to make conforming changes; amends §58-9-2650, relating to liability insurance rates, so as to make conforming changes; amends §58-9-3010, relating to definitions applicable to article 25, chapter 9, title 58, so as to make conforming changes to a cross reference; and repeals §§58-9-2660 and 58-9-2670 relating to petitions to designate unserved areas, and exemptions for government-owned communications service providers receiving funding for comprehensive community infrastructure projects. Provides that except for reasonable network management, a local agency insofar as it is engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service pursuant to this article may not block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices.

South Carolina

HB 3532

Enacts 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.

South Dakota

None

 

Tennessee

None

 

Texas

No 2022 regular session

 

Utah

None

 

Vermont

None

 

Virginia

None

 

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

Washington

None

 

West Virginia

None

 

Wisconsin

None

 

Wyoming

None

 

 

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

 

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