SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon State House of Representatives passed a bill today aimed at encouraging internet service providers (ISPs) to follow net neutrality guidelines which are no longer being enforced by the federal government. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the official standards known as "net neutrality" in 2015, a decision that was recently repealed in December of 2017.
House Bill 4155 would not reinstitute net neutrality standards for Oregon, but it would encourage some ISPs to adhere to those standards regardless. If the bill passes the state Senate and gets signed into law by Governor Brown, it would prohibit Oregon state government entities from contracting with ISPs who engage in the kind of activities that were formerly prohibited under net neutrality—activities such as paid prioritization, content blocking, or in any way discriminating against certain sites or content.
The bill would put the Public Utility Commission in charge of determing whether ISPs contracted by the state for internet access are meeting net neutrality standards.
Though largely passed along party lines—with Democrats championing the bill—HB 4155 passed the House with only lukewarm Republican opposition. Six Republican representatives joined Democrats in lodging "Yes" votes.