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Washington State Ratifies Its Own Net Neutrality Laws

A bill that reinstates protections repealed by the FCC passed both houses of the state’s legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state ratified its own net-neutrality protections on Feb. 27, the first state to do so in a direct rebuke to Washington, D.C.

A bill that reinstates protections repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in December passed both houses of Washington state’s legislature. It now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed, according to

Washington State will forbid broadband companies from blocking or slowing lawful internet traffic or selling fast lanes at a premium. It also requires broadband companies to publicly disclose their business practices “sufficient for consumers to make informed choices,” according to the same article.

Of course Washington state’s net neutrality law is likely to face legal challenges. The FCC’s official repeal of net neutrality, published in the Federal Register last week, preempts states and local jurisdictions from passing de facto net neutrality laws. The FCC has indicated that the new rules preempt any state or local measures that would effectively impose rules or requirements that we have repealed or decided to refrain from imposing in this order, including laws that would require disclosure of business practices from internet providers, like the one just passed by the Washington state legislature.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is also preparing a legal challenge to the FCC’s decision, as part of a coalition with attorneys general from 21 other states and the District of Columbia.