Alaska Lawmakers Call for the State to Contract Only With Internet Service Providers that Practice Net Neutrality
February 20, 2018
(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Lawmakers from the Alaska House and the Senate sent a letter today urging Governor Bill Walker to sign an executive order to prohibit state agencies from entering into contracts with internet service providers (ISPs) that violate the principles of net neutrality. Under Article III, sections 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, the Governor is declared the executive and that each department shall be under his supervision. Recently, the governors of Montana and New York signed similar executive orders.
"Free and open internet access is vital to all Alaskans and is heavily relied upon by educators, students, and small businesses," said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). "The Governor has the opportunity and the authority to prevent ISPs from degrading internet speeds based on content and charging additional fees for social media, music and video downloads, and social media access."
Lawmakers request the executive order state that to receive a state contract, an ISP shall not, with respect to any consumer in the state: block content, degrade internet traffic, engage in paid prioritization, and interfere with a user's ability to access content.
"Since the Federal Government repealed net neutrality, the State has an obligation to Alaskans to do whatever is in their power to maintain open access to internet content, "said Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks). "Net neutrality is not only important to protect freedom of speech, but it promotes innovation and fair competitiveness among businesses."
Twenty-four members of the House and the Senate, which includes Republicans, Democrats, and Independents signed the letter to Governor Walker.
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Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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