Massachusetts Proposes Net Neutrality Measure Tags, Humiliates Rotten ISPs

In Decenternet, News
Net Neutrality Measure

It looks like several awful ISPs will join Massachusetts’ name and shame game.

Massachusetts is coming up with a new measure that will name and at the same time shame broadband providers that disregard and/or violate consumer confidentiality.

At the heels of the FCC’s decision to abolish net neutrality rules, over half of the states contemplate their own including Massachusetts, state-level open internet principles. Some states that undertook issues with the legislature.  These states include Oregon, Washington, and of course, California. Other states such as Montana is signing executive orders to prohibit state agencies from dealing business with ISPs that do not adhere to net neutrality guidelines.

Generally, most of the proposed measures of the different states include the disallowing of blocking, throttling, and engaging in paid prioritization. Other bills would target zero-rating, ISPs utilization of data caps as well as overage fees to immobilize streaming preferences and avert cord cutting. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has something different to offer with its S2160.

According to the proposed law of Massachusetts, the state will establish an “internet service provider registry” that would monitor if ISPs comply or not to data privacy, net neutrality, and other policies that protect the interests of consumers. Providers that uphold those policies will be authorized to endorse a “Massachusetts Net Neutrality and Consumer Privacy Seal” of confirmation.

The recommended Massachusetts bill’s objective is to push ISPs to be more clear regarding their network operations and managing of confidential data. Unnamed sources with the knowledge of the matter said that the state settled against hard restrictions on things such as delaying and blocking. That is because state leaders were concerned that ISPs will triumphantly file a case to invalidate the law.

ISPs lobbying groups opposed the Massachusetts net neutrality bill, S2160, that was approved last week by the Senate and will move next to the state’s House of Representatives.   The New England Cable & Telecommunications Association argued that it will harm modernization and economic progress.

“The measure that passed today will do little to protect consumers while hurting innovation and economic growth. The best solution is a bipartisan, federal net neutrality law that protects consumers and encourages investment here in Massachusetts and across New England,” based on the statement released by the group.

Massachusetts assumed that it would be better to try and publicly humiliate broadband providers that will not comply with the rules. The measure tries to at least minimally tackle the lack of competition by clearing up the state’s current law specifying that municipalities have the jurisdiction to establish and run their own broadband networks. To date, there are 21 states that have already legislated their own bills forbidding towns and cities alike from getting into the broadband market as requested by ISPs.

If the proposed bill of Massachusetts will not be legislated by July 31, the state would be forced to return to the issue and start from the beginning next year of January. It is worth noting that it is one of the 23 states that filed a case against FCC in an attempt to preserve net neutrality rules.


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