The law comes about three months after the FCC voted to dismantle rules that ensured all traffic on the internet is treated equally and prevented broadband and wireless providers from blocking or slowing online content.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2282 into law yesterday, which will protect the state's residents from the Federal Communication Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality a year ago.
Washington's bill received strong bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, overcoming the objections of opponents who said the state should wait for Congress to enact nationwide legislation. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the worldâ€ٹâ€"â€ٹor a small business to compete in the global marketplace. It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations in free speech in history, and what's at stake couldn't be more important". The states' objectives were to block a federal rollback of Obama-era net neutrality rules.
"Internet service providers can not be allowed to substitute their money-motivated judgment on how you spend your time online", said Sarah Bird, CEO of Seattle-based search engine optimization company Moz.More news: CAUGHT: CMU student wanted for fatal shooting of parents arrested
Washington isn't the only state taking such action, even if it's the first to see it through to the finish line. The agency previously said that states could not create their own net neutrality laws.
"We feel very confident in our position", Inslee said.
The law means that national internet service providers (ISP) may have to have one set of operating policies for Washington and another for the other states in which they operate. More than half a dozen other states are also considering net neutrality legislation.
Filed in the D.C. District Court of Appeals, the petition stems from the Coalition of Internet Openness, a nonprofit advocating for a "legal environment that preserves and extends the openness of the Internet".
Meanwhile, FCC's anti-net neutrality stance is making more tech companies stand up to it and be counted. In addition, the Internet Association, a lobbying group that represents tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google, said in early January that it would work to preserve net neutrality. "Net neutrality is an issue of tremendous importance that will matter today, tomorrow and generations from now".