June 19, 2018

Assembly Passes Bill to Protect Net Neutrality,
Equal Access to the Internet in New York State

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy today announced passage of legislation to protect the principles of net neutrality in New York State (A.8882-C, Fahy).

"An open internet is integral to education and to innovation in our state," Speaker Heastie said. "While Washington allows net neutrality regulations to expire, the Assembly Majority is working to ensure that we maintain the principles, so every New Yorker continues to have access to an open internet, and no one is relegated to a slow lane."

"Last week's repeal of federal net neutrality rules could damage small businesses' ability to compete and harm student and consumer access to critical information," Assemblymember Fahy said. "If internet service providers want to do business with New York, they need to abide by net neutrality rules. We won't allow startups to be blocked or families' internet to be slowed down because Washington refuses to take action."

"The Assembly Majority will not stand by and allow New Yorkers to be put into an internet slow lane," Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Chair Amy Paulin said. "I am proud that today's legislation will preserve equal access to the internet for individuals, innovators, and small businesses by protecting net neutrality here in New York State."

The legislation would prohibit New York State, its authorities and municipalities from doing business with internet service providers that do not adhere to the principles of net neutrality, including discriminating against lawful content by blocking websites or apps, slowing transmission of data because of the nature of the content or creating an internet fast lane for companies and consumer who pay premiums.

Net neutrality has ensured that the internet remains open with equal access for individuals, innovators and small businesses. In December of last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo the Obama-era regulations protecting net neutrality.