OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee today vowed to enforce net neutrality in Washington state even though the Federal Communications Commission is poised to eliminate those rules tomorrow.
Seattle's Sub Pop Records relies on the current net neutrality rules and sees danger if internet providers are allowed to play favorites.
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“As an independent music artist myself, I know that my band distributes our music through smaller channels than say, iTunes, Spotify Amazon and those with large pockets who might be able to pay to play, so independent artists will have a harder time getting their music into the hands of consumers who will then decide whether or not they like us,” said Sub Pop IT manager Andrew Sullivan.
We met Sullivan after his news conference with Inslee. The governor and state lawmakers say Washington will move to enforce net neutrality in this state, even if the Trump administration won't.
“We're here to say that we are not powerless today, and we will act to protect Washingtonians against violations of net neutrality,” he said.
The state will leverage its huge buying power to favor internet service providers who maintain net neutrality.
The governor says it will also hold internet providers accountable to consumers, and might slow access to public utility poles if companies don't abide by net neutrality.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson was at the news conference supporting the governor.
Democratic Rep. Drew Hansen and Republican Representative Norma Smith have drafted legislation.
“What is dangerous if these rules are rolled back is a consolidation of power that will not benefit freedom, will not benefit fairness and will not benefit the future,” said Smith, R-Whidbey Island.
“Republicans and Democrats agree that a free and open internet is good for consumers and good for this state,” said Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island.
But the chair of the FCC says ending net neutrality won't cause any problems.
“At the end of the day, competition as opposed to preemptive regulation is the best way to serve consumers,” said Ajit Pai.
The Trump Administration plans to pre-empt the rights of states to impose net neutrality. Inslee says he is ready to fight.
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