Press Release

Public Knowledge Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Proposal to Ensure Net Neutrality Protections for New Yorkers

December 19, 2019 , , ,

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his 2020 agenda will include legislation that, if enacted, could give New Yorkers some of the nation’s strongest net neutrality consumer protections. The governor’s announcement indicated the proposal will prohibit broadband providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic, or introducing paid prioritization or “zero rating” schemes.

Broadband providers would be required to disclose network management practices and certify compliance with the law, and consumers would be able to take companies to court for violations. The bill is also expected to codify the governor’s 2018 Executive Order that barred state government entities from contracting with broadband providers that do not comply with net neutrality.

Public Knowledge supports state legislative efforts to restore net neutrality, encourages Congress to adopt strong federal legislation, and continues to fight in court to restore the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.

The following can be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Policy Director of Public Knowledge:

“Governor Cuomo’s net neutrality proposal is a strong statement that New Yorkers deserve the guarantee of a free and open internet. An open internet is critical for the public to access information and participate in economic and civic life, and for businesses that use the internet to reach consumers. Strong net neutrality protections are vital for the internet ecosystem and the digital economy. We applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership on this issue.

“Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission voted to eliminate its net neutrality consumer protections and abdicated its authority to provide oversight of broadband providers. Without any threat of oversight by the FCC or strong net neutrality protections, broadband providers have quietly engaged in behavior that undermines the open internet and harms consumers and competition online. In October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld the Commission’s authority to eliminate the agency’s net neutrality rules, but also held that because the agency interpreted the Communications Act as giving the FCC no authority over broadband providers, the agency cannot preempt state net neutrality laws.

“With the FCC missing in action, it is critical that state governments step up to protect consumers and ensure the internet remains free and open. Although we have not yet seen the text of the legislation, we are encouraged by the governor’s announcement. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, the state legislature, and open internet advocates in New York to enact a strong net neutrality law. We also encourage other states to introduce and enact their own strong net neutrality laws to protect consumers and promote growth in the digital economy. Further, we continue to support passage of the Save the Internet Act to codify strong nationwide net neutrality protections.”