Things have been rather quiet on the net neutrality front, which we suppose is a good thing—no news is good news, as it indicates that ISPs are not abusing their freedom to treat Internet traffic as they see fit after the FCC dismantled net neutrality rules last year. Nevertheless, several US states are not leaving things to chance. That includes Oregon, which signed into law its own net neutrality regulations, CNET reports.
Signed by Governor Kate Brown, the law goes into effect in 2019 and prohibits state agencies from inking contracts with ISPs that don't agree to treat all internet traffic the same. That means no paid prioritization or throttling based on content.
"The internet has democratized knowledge and is an invaluable tool for education. It's so important that it remains open and accessible for everyone," Governor Brown said in a statement last week. "In Oregon, we want to make sure that access to the internet is a level playing field, instead of exacerbating economic disparity."
Oregon's net neutrality law isn't as far reaching as the one Washington put on the books last month, and the one that California is trying to enact. Washington pretty much ignored a provision the FCC put in place to prohibit states from enacting their own net neutrality rules, as the agency saw this sort of thing taking place. As such, Washington and other states that take a broader approach are sure to face legal challenges from the federal government.
It's very likely that Oregon will also have to defend its rules in court, even though the rules only focus on state agencies.
More than half of US states have either enacted or are trying to enact their own net neutrality laws. That makes any legal precedent set all that more important, when the issue works its way into the court system. Not that anything will be resolved soon—as with most high profile legal matters, net neutrality verdicts are sure to be appealed regardless of which side comes out on top.