Washington's new law, House Bill 2282, reinstates those net neutrality rules at the state level and protects citizens in the state from manipulated broadband speeds and measures that would limit certain types of content.
The bill prohibits internet providers in Washington from blocking content, services and devices, with a few exceptions. Violations would be enforceable under the state's Consumer Protection Act.
That capped a disgraceful year by an agency that also gutted rules to preserve the diversity of news-media voices, made it easier for broadcasters to consolidate and prevented companies from offering a federal discount on broadband service to the poor.
States have fought back in the courts and by executive orders withholding state contracts from any ISP or carrier which violates net neutrality. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history". Attorneys general in almost two dozen states, joined by public interest groups and internet companies, have sued to overturn the repeal.
"At the core of our action today is consumer protection", Inslee told The New York Times.
This crusade should continue until sense is restored at the Federal Communications Commission, which voted in December to rescind its 2015 net neutrality rules, including the classification of broadband as an essential utility.
The Oregon Legislature last week passed a more narrowly drafted measure to require companies doing business with state and local government to adhere to net neutrality. Telecom companies say a patchwork of state laws would be untenable for interstate internet traffic.
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CNET reports that the bill was signed into law yesterday.
Washington state was among more than 20 states and the District of Columbia that sued in January to try and block the FCC's action.
Cantwell said repeal is a longshot, but the effort is important to educate colleagues in Congress and the public "about how devastating this can be to the economy". It included a provision that banned states from restoring consumer protection by passing their own net neutrality laws.
The FCC's repeal of the rules should go into effect by April 23, though now that the clock is ticking down, the repeal is facing mounting pressure in the form of legal challenges.
"We feel very confident in our position", Inslee said.
At a bill signing ceremony in Olympia Monday, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee claimed the federal regulatory rollback "catered to some corporate interests".
"There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations", he said in a written statement.