Assembly Passes Legislation to Protect Internet Neutrality in New York State

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy today announced that the Assembly has passed legislation to ensure that the internet remains open with equal access for all New Yorkers.

“The internet has undoubtedly changed the world we live in by allowing a more free flowing exchange of ideas and information,” said Speaker Heastie. “Without net neutrality, ideas and information would be for sale at the discretion of deep-pocketed corporations. Today’s legislation demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that the internet remains accessible to everyone.”

“Free and open access to the internet is critical to our small businesses and furthering innovation in the creative economy, as well as our education and library system,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “We must ensure the internet remains an accessible resource for all to use, as it has become inextricably linked in our day to day life at work, home, and more. In New York, we stand with consumers and a free and open internet for all.”

This legislation directs the Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish a process for internet service providers (ISPs) to certify that they follow net neutrality principles (A.2432, Fahy). In order to make these certifications, the PSC must determine that each ISP does not engage in certain unfair practices such as throttling or paid prioritization.

Under the bill, New York State agencies, public authorities, municipalities, municipal corporations and libraries will be required to contract only with ISPs certified by the PSC to follow net neutrality principles.

This legislation protects New Yorkers from the potential consequences of the 2017 Federal Communications Commission order to undo the Obama-era regulations protecting net neutrality.