Governor Steve Bullock issued the following statement on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision today that disallows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from preempting state laws, thus upholding Montana’s net neutrality protections signed by executive order by Governor Bullock in January 2018.
“From the beginning we said that if the federal government won’t protect our access to a free and open internet, it would be up to the states. Montana was the first to act, setting off a nationwide movement of executive orders and state laws to protect the open internet. Today the D.C. Circuit confirmed that states can protect their citizens when the federal government fails them,” said Governor Bullock.
Governor Bullock was the first governor in the country to implement action in the wake of the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules. Other governors, including the governors of New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, joined him. State legislatures around the country also implemented similar legislation.
“After our executive order, internet providers big and small have agreed to respect net neutrality principles in Montana,” Bullock added. “I’m pleased that other states have followed our lead and are working to protect net neutrality.”
The order directs that to receive a contract from the State of Montana for providing telecommunications services, the service provider must not block lawful content, throttle, impair or degrade lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, engage in paid prioritization, or unreasonably interfere or disadvantage the users’ ability to select, access, and use broadband internet access service.
Governor Bullock’s template remains available to governors and legislators across the country who wish to respond to the FCC’s move against net neutrality.