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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Trump Administration's Repeal of Net Neutrality: Rep. Stephenson Urges Action on Minnesota Legislation

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

ST. PAUL-- Today a federal appeals court issued a ruling mostly upholding the Trump Administration’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality. Despite the federal nature of the ruling, the court decision clarifies that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cannot block states from adopting their own net neutrality rules.

Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) chief authored legislation during the 2019 session that would enact net neutrality in Minnesota. The bill would make it illegal for internet service providers from engaging in anti-consumer behavior, and prohibit the state from doing business with providers that do not agree to act in accordance with net-neutrality principles.

“The court's decision today only adds urgency to the need to pass net neutrality legislation in our state. Minnesotans deserve a fair and open internet. Huge, unaccountable internet service providers should not be allowed to decide what Minnesotans see when they open their browsers. We need to protect consumers from the well-documented abuses of internet service providers.

“While I was sad to see the court uphold the FCC's repeal of net neutrality regulations, I was pleased that the court clarified that the FCC cannot block states from adopting their own rules. In 2019, the Minnesota House passed net neutrality legislation, and as the chief author of the bill I will continue to fight for it until it becomes law."