Washington state passes law restoring net neutrality

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"All Washingtonians should enjoy equal and unfettered access to the educational, social and economic power of the internet", Inslee said.

On Monday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2282, which state legislators from both parties passed in February, protecting net neutrality within the state.

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In the latest suit, the plaintiffs argue that the Administrative Procedure Act bars federal agencies from "arbitrary and capricious" changes to existing policy and rules. The F.C.C. said it got rid of the rules because they restrained broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast from experimenting with new business models and investing in new technologies. That raises the possibility that at least a few of the states might take action, just as Washington did, to restore the policy within their boundaries. The FCC has a clause in its decision that forbids state legislation to contradict it, so a protracted legal fight may be inevitable.

Back in December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the net neutrality laws enacted by the previous administrations, and to give carriers or other internet service the freedom to prioritize traffic from this or that source, including their own services. Internet providers will also be required to disclose information about their management practices, performance and commercial terms. The FCC reversed these net neutrality rules earlier this year. It will also prevent the slowing down of connection speeds, also known as throttling, as well as paid prioritization, where ISPs favor certain traffic that's beneficial to them. "It's allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history".

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On February 22, a coalition of 23 state attorneys general challenged the FCC in the DC Circuit, alleging the new order violated U.S. federal law, including the Communications Act of 1934.

"Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet", Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said during a bill signing ceremony.

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The new law will protect consumers and small businesses who might not be able to afford higher internet service fees possible under the FCC rules that large corporations could absorb, he said.