The bipartisan bill was introduced this session after the Federal Communications Commission eliminated so-called net neutrality rules last fall.
A bill instituting regulations that keep internet service providers (ISPs) from interfering with websites and content going through their networks overwhelming passed Washington’s House of Representatives.
House Bill 2282, which passed 93-5, is a set of regulations that requires ISPs to treat all websites equally, preventing them from creating fast lanes for those who can afford to pay for them. The bill, sponsored by Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, also prohibits service providers from throttling broadband speeds or slowing down websites or content they deem shouldn’t reach consumers at the same speed as other sites, applications, services or content. The bill also includes a requirement that service providers disclose information regarding their performance and commercial terms.
There are a number of net-neutrality-related bills in Olympia this session in response to the Federal Communications Commission overturning federal regulations last year.
“Net neutrality has worked very well to protect a free and open internet. We are going to keep these protections in Washington state even after they go away at the federal level,” Hansen said.
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Hansen worked closely with House Republican Norma Smith of Whidbey Island on the legislation, which would be enforced through the state’s Consumer Protection Act. Smith had a nearly identical bill. While both bills were still alive, Smith said she didn’t care which bill advanced as long as one of them passed. “This is an issue that needs to matter to everyone,” she said.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, sponsored a bill dealing with disclosure and service providers and Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, had a bill similar to what the House passed.