Nebraska Introduces Law to Reinstate Net Neutrality

Statehouses across the country: the next battlefield for a free internet?

A state legislator, Adam Morfeld, introduced a bill Friday to restore net neutrality rules in the state of Nebraska.

The “Internet Neutrality Act” (LB856) would restore the former federal rules and prohibit broadband internet service providers from “limiting or restricting access to web sites, applications, or content.”

As Morfeld told a local newspaper: “For me, this is an economic development and consumer protection bill. The internet drives the economy now and it’s critical people have open and fair access to the internet.”

Meet the Nebraskan senator fighting the repeal of net neutrality. 

"State Senator Adam Morfeld' Facebook

Morfeld said that he’s received widespread support for the bill across the political spectrum. “I was passionate about it, but I was shocked at the support I received from Republicans, from Democrats and Libertarians,” he said.

Nebraska is not the only place using state law to fight the deeply unpopular repeal. In Washington state, lawmakers hope to force broadband companies to disclose accurate information about the price and speed of their services and prevent them from creating “fast lanes” of internet access for consumers who pay more.

Meanwhile, in California last week, lawmakers introduced a bill that attacks the net neutrality repeal at several different levels: It would treat internet service providers as public utilities, block companies that are not following net neutrality rules from using utility poles, and prohibit government agencies from contracting with internet service providers that do not follow those rules.

Additionally, 16 state attorney generals have pledged to sue the FCC to stop the repeal, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The state laws being proposed or considered in Nebraska, Washington, and California, meanwhile, are likely to result in another, separate lawsuit, since in the FCC’s new rules, published Jan. 4, the commission specifically tried to preempt actions to enforce net neutrality at a local level.


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