Wisconsin Standing Up for Net Neutrality

By on January 11, 2018

The battle for net neutrality is just beginning to take shape across the country with states like Wisconsin starting to make moves to protect the Internet in the wake of the FCC’s decision to roll back protections. Rep. Jonathan Brostoff and Sen. Chris Larson — both Wisconsin Democrats — are trying to advance legislation that would preserve net neutrality in the state while Democrats in the U.S. Congress mull their own options for doing the same.

Larson talked about the importance of a free and open Internet in his comments about the bill.

“The internet is the modern town square. With so much of our lives conducted online, Wisconsinites deserve the freedom to see the content of their choice without internet service providers purposefully holding content back by slowing it down or blocking it,” said Larson. “Our state must take a strong stance against providers picking winners and losers.”

With a federal government seemingly averse to protecting the Internet and ensuring fair competition, it may yet fall upon the states to uphold net neutrality. U.S. Senate Democrats have mustered the support to force a vote on rescinding the FCC’s rollback, but given the makeup of Congress — and more importantly the man who sits in the Oval Office — the move will most likely only be effective as a campaign tool and isn’t likely to succeed on its own.

That’s why it’s important that states like Wisconsin begin taking the matter into their own hands. Major internet providers who operate in multiple states aren’t likely to implement anti-net neutrality practices if they aren’t going to be legal in some of the places they do business. State jurisdictions will be the best line of defense for the near future until a more net neutrality-friendly Congress (and President) are in place — and that probably own’t happen until 2020.