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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2019 03:34 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Net Neutrality
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to protect and promote net neutrality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers or broadband service providers must treat all data on the internet equally. This allows individuals to freely access information without providers discriminating against or promoting certain online services or websites.

Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission classified Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service,” which allowed them to prohibit providers from unreasonably discriminating against content providers or favor their own content providers over competitors. However, the Trump administration has recently reclassified BIAS as an “information service,” which no longer allows a prohibition on unreasonable discrimination in rates charged to consumers or content providers.

For this reason, I am introducing legislation that will regulate intrastate BIAS at the state level. Specifically, my legislation will:
  • Require persons providing broadband internet access service must publicly disclose information to consumers.
  • Prohibit persons providing broadband internet access service from:
    • Blocking lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices.
    • Impairing or degrading lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices.
    • Engaging in paid prioritization.
    • Unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging:
      • End users’ ability to access lawful content.
      • Providers ability to make lawful content available to users.
  • Contracts, tax credits, or grants awarded by a state agency or public or municipal authority where the recipient is a BIAS provider or includes internet connection services will be required to ensure internet services are compliant internet service neutrality.
Please join me in sponsoring this important consumer protection legislation.

Introduced as SB392