HARTFORD — State Sen. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, a longtime champion of an open internet, recently welcomed a federal appeals court ruling that leaves the door open for state and local governments to write their own regulations guaranteeing net neutrality.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 200-page decision that largely sided with the Federal Communications Commission on its controversial decision to roll back several Obama-era net neutrality protections. But the court also ruled that states could enact their own protections.
“This is something worth fighting for,” said Sen. Slap. “There is nothing more important than an open internet. Businesses and consumers need to compete on a level playing field, not one that has been artificially manipulated by an internet service provider looking for new ways to make even more profit. We can’t allow ISPs to randomly set consumer internet speeds, block certain websites in preference over others, or force businesses to pay more to put their content online. Net neutrality is good for consumers and for business, and it should be the law of the land in Connecticut.”
Sen. Slap said in light of Tuesday’s court decision, he will seek to work with legislative colleagues next session on a new net neutrality bill for Connecticut. In 2018, Connecticut Republicans killed a net neutrality bill that would have benefitted consumers and businesses and would have fined any company seeking to reduce internet speeds or block access to certain websites. At the time, Sen. Slap was a state representative and co-chair of the committee that introduced the legislation.
Montana, New York, Washington, Oregon and New Jersey have already passed laws to preserve an open internet.