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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, June 16, 2024
This is not obama

This is not obama

State Democrats hope to shield Wisconsin from net neutrality repeal

Following the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the so-called net neutrality regulations, state Democrats are seeking to revive the Obama-era plan on a statewide level.

Net neutrality refers to the regulations preventing internet service providers, or ISPs, from providing discriminatory access to online information, generally through barring or intentionally slowing down connections to sites, based on the consumer’s internet package.

The repeal — initiated under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai — essentially loosens these reins, significantly deregulating the ISP market.

Proponents of the repeal argue that less government interference would spur investment in the industry, incentivize the entry of new competitors and reduce the expenditure of enforcing regulations.

Opponents, however, argue that ISPs could use the opportunity to charge customers more for high-speed internet and restrict or slow access to information regarding competitors’ products.

In response to the repeal, legislators at the state level across the country have been implementing policies in order to resurrect net neutrality, whether wholly or in piecemeal.

Wisconsin Democrats have introduced two bills to do this: one to ban state contracts with ISPs that do not operate under former net neutrality guidelines and another that simply re-establishes previous net neutrality conditions at the state level.

"The Trump administration has gone out of its way to tie the hand of state legislators from being able to protect something as important as net neutrality," state Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, who introduced one of the bills, told Wisconsin Public Radio.

Both bills are in direct opposition to the FCC’s order barring states from reinstating the former net neutrality regulations. This contradiction is purposeful, however, with the bills intending to incite judicial intervention on the subject, with the hope that the courts take their side.

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