New Jersey will become the third state to mandate all Internet Service Providers follow net neutrality if they want to do business here.
The Federal Communications Commission recently rescind net neutrality, which potentially limits access to the Internet, allows companies to pay more to have their content treated favorably, or can force consumers to pay more to access websites.
“We may not agree with everything we see online, but that does not give us a justifiable reason to block the free, uninterrupted and indiscriminate flow of information,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in signing an executive order Monday. “And, it certainly doesn’t give certain companies or individuals a right to pay their way to the front of the line. While New Jersey cannot unilaterally regulate net neutrality back into law or cement it as a state regulation, we can exercise our power as a consumer to make our preferences known.”
New Jersey joins New York and Montana in demanding providers adhere to net neutrality rules or lose the ability to contract in state.
Contracts signed on or after July 1 will be affected.
The Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs will work with the Division of Purchase and Property to carry out the order and monitor its enforcement.
The order came ont the same day that state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced New Jersey will join 21 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit aimed at blocking the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality.
That lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in December.
“We are committed to taking whatever legal action we can to preserve the internet rights of New Jersey consumers, and to challenge the federal government’s misguided attack on a free and open internet,” Grewal said. “Our position is that the Federal Communications Commission acted arbitrarily and against the evidence before it when doing its about-face on net neutrality.”