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Net Neutrality - The Decision By Washington State (Research Paper Sample)


Choose any specific state political issue that would be of interest to state and local politics scholars.


Net Neutrality


Net Neutrality

One of the current issues that are likely to put state scholars occupied in the coming days is the decision by Washington State to uphold net neutrality. In early March, Washington lawmakers passed a first of its kind law to bar Internet providers such as Comcast, Verizon and CenturyLink from jamming or throttling certain Internet content while offering preferred speeds to users who pay more (Boyette & Park, 2018). The law passed in Washington was in response to the decision by the Federal Communication Commission to roll back the 2015 internet neutrality rules passed by the Obama administration. Following the passage of the law, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that offer services in Washington will be required to offer equal access and reveal information regarding their system operations. What makes this new legislation of interest to politics scholars is that it faces a possible dispute from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In 2015, the Obama Administration passed a law that required all Internet providers to offer equal treatment to all Internet users. This law was passed out of the realization that the net plays an integral part in the growth of the economy and as such, it is important to ensure that everyone is offered equal access despite of their social standing (Boyette & Park, 2018). When the Trump administration came in to power, there was a feeling that the new law stifled the freedom of Internet providers and as such, there was a push to repeal the net neutrality law. In December 2017, the FCC voted to give Internet providers the freedom to speed up services for providers that paid high amount of money and slow down the one’s that paid little. The landmark Obama-era regulations offered regulations for companies that provided broadband services such as AT&T and Verizon (Fung, 2017).

After the passage of the regulation repealing the net neutrality, states were left musing on whether they should challenge the decision by FCC and the manner in which they should do this. After the repeal of the net neutrality, politics scholars went on an overdrive mode trying to decipher what such repeal meant to the economy and the people. Before the repeal of the net neutrality law, politics scholars were busy trying to establish whether the repeal was justified and the effect that it would have on the economy and on communication. From the onset, it was clear that the repeal was in direct collision with the will of the majority. Many people in the nation believed that the Internet played an integral role in driving the economy and as such, broadband providers were not supposed to be given a freehand in deciding how they would offer the service to the people. The FCCs decision to give ISPs a freehand in offering their services was therefore a clear affront on the wishes of the majority (Fung, 2017).

When President Donald Trump came into power, one of the things that he vowed to do was to check against the spread of fake news. President trump believed that the Internet played a key role in spreading fake news and as such, controlling the Internet was one of the things that would curtail the spread of such news. Under the Obama administration, people were allowed the freedom of communication and the law allowing for net neutrality was one of the attempts to ensure that every person could air their views. The move by the Federal Communications Commission to remove the regulations placed on telecom and cable companies was a clear example of the policy shifts that were happening under the Trump administration as well as a major loss for consumer groups and Democratic politicians who had fought hard to prevent such a decision (Fung, 2017).

Since the decision to deregulate the telecom and cable ...

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